Teenage pregnancy is a pregnancy that occurs in women below the age of 20. Being pregnant at a young age is one of the most difficult situations and also has greater health risks for both the teen mom and the baby. Most teen pregnancies are unplanned or accidental.
Key Facts on Teenage Pregnancy
- United States has the highest teen pregnancy rates in the western industrialized world.
- Nearly 3 in 10 teen girls in the US will get pregnant at least once before age 20, that is, there will be more than 700,000 teen pregnancies every year.
- More than half of teen mothers in the US never graduate from high school and less than 2% earn a college degree by the time they are 30 years of age. Thus, the pregnancy could affect the education of the mothers.
- About a quarter of teen mothers have their second child within 2 years of their first baby in the US.
- The use of contraceptives during first sex by females aged 15–19 increased to 78% in 2006–2010 in the US.
- In US in 2006, 82% of pregnancies were unplanned and accounted for about one-fifth of all unintended pregnancies.
- Babies born to teenage mothers are at greater risk for developmental problems like lower birth weight, bleeding in brain, respiratory distress syndrome, intestinal problems and nutrition deficiency.
- Teenage mothers are at great risks for pregnancy complications, depression and other stress related health problems.
- The mortality rate for babies of teenage mothers is higher than for those of older mothers.
- Teenage pregnancy can be avoided by abstaining from early sexual contact or by practicing safe sex using contraceptives. Adequate education to teenagers on the hazards of teen pregnancy also helps spread awareness.