Adolescent Pregnancy

With 800,000-900,000 teenagers 19 years of age or under falling pregnant each year, the United States has one of the highest teen pregnancy rates among developed nations. 54% of adolescent pregnancies result in birth, 32% are aborted, and 13% result in miscarriage. Pregnancy rates among girls aged 15 to 19 years have decreased, according to the Centres for Disease Control (CDC).

The drop has been ascribed to stable rates of sexual experience and activity within this age group and greater condom use. This drop has also been linked to increased use of long-acting hormonal treatments developed in the early 1990s.

Prevention of Adolescent Pregnancy Issues

Adolescents are exposed to positive elements of sexuality without receiving similar knowledge about safe sexual behavior, contraception, and personal care. Furthermore, while many adults consider adolescent pregnancy a terrible life occurrence, not all adolescents do. Furthermore, the sooner teenagers engage in sexual activity, the higher the chance of teenage pregnancy. Unfortunately, parents are frequently uncomfortable with their children's sexual behavior and cannot begin crucial dialogues about abstinence or contraception.

Teenage pregnancy prevention programs must be designed with an awareness of teenage sexuality attitudes, sexual knowledge, and how these influence their decision-making. For some teens, for example, refusing to accept their sexual behavior makes adequate contraceptive use difficult. Adolescents may also ignore their pregnancy risk or hold misunderstandings, such as believing that only regular sexual activity may lead to pregnancy, that they are infertile, or that they will not become pregnant since they have not yet been pregnant.

"I never thought I could get pregnant," many young females say, or "I had sex so many times without protection, and I never got pregnant." Furthermore, teenagers are frequently ignorant of the period in their menstrual cycle when they are most at risk for fertility or the influence of irregular cycles on ovulation.

Outcomes of Teenage Pregnancy and Childbearing

Children of adolescent mothers who had inadequate prenatal care frequently have poor outcomes, including low birth weight. Adolescents may get insufficient prenatal care because they are ignorant of available services, do not have health insurance, have bad attitudes towards health care professionals, or believe that early prenatal care is unnecessary. Poor nutrition, drug use, and vaginal infections are all common risk factors for bad neonatal outcomes among pregnant teenagers.

Many unique programs in the United States have been designed to assist pregnant teens in preparing for birth, parenthood, and future family planning. Multidisciplinary teams are involved in such programs, which give information on nutrition, postpartum care, and contraceptive usage. Adolescent-only clinics, in general, have shown good impacts on birth weight, timing of prenatal treatment, and frequency of prenatal care visits.

Adolescents who choose to prolong their pregnancy may be emotionally and cognitively inadequate to deal with the rigors of pregnancy and caring for a kid. Many younger teens may not have abstract thinking skills and may be unable to connect pregnancy with the responsibilities of parenthood. Furthermore, when teenagers try to find their identity and fit in with their classmates, they will likely struggle with identifying with the parenting role.

Thus, falling pregnant and becoming a parent during adolescence might disrupt the development of the adult skills and sense of identity required to be an autonomous and influential contributor to society.

Many parenting teens struggle to finish high school, become financially secure adults, and build safe and stable families for themselves and their children. Rapid recurrent childbirth, or having a second child within 24 months after the first, significantly contributes to these poor consequences. However, not all adolescent parents face these poor outcomes. Adolescents benefit from supportive parents, healthcare providers, and other adults who can help them through pregnancy and parenting.

Adolescent Abortion

Abortion is terminating a pregnancy before the fetus can live outside the mother's body. Miscarriage, often spontaneous abortion, is a fetus's spontaneous and natural loss. The pregnancy is ended surgically or medically in an induced abortion. To reduce health hazards, most induced abortions are conducted within the first trimester. Abortions are done between 14 and 24 weeks of pregnancy in less than 9% of cases and after six months of pregnancy in cases when the health of the fetus or mother is jeopardized.

Nearly one million young girls become pregnant yearly in the United States. Almost 78 percent of these pregnancies will be unintended, with the majority being unwelcome. Although our country's adolescent pregnancy rate has been declining since 1991, the United States still has the highest teen birth rate in the industrialized world, with 48.5 births per 1,000 girls aged 15-19 in 2000. Fifty-five percent of teen pregnancies end in live births, 14 percent end in miscarriages, and an estimated 31 percent end in abortion.

Psychological Outcomes of Adolescent Abortion

Although research on the emotional and psychological implications of abortion on teenagers is scarce, it appears to be a nontraumatic but stressful process. An unexpected pregnancy creates distress for most teenagers, and it is difficult to separate the impact of abortion for a young person from the burden of pregnancy. However, there is little evidence that adolescent abortion decision-making affects psychopathology.

For some teenagers, the decision to have an abortion is associated with a period of growth and maturity in their development. Abortion positively influences a teen's mental health by increasing their self-esteem, sense of control over their lives, maturity level, and independence. It has been argued that because most teen pregnancies are unexpected, youths may feel relieved after the abortion because they no longer have to worry about the implications of an undesired pregnancy, such as parenting a kid.

Although most research shows favorable psychological effects for adolescents, individuals with low emotional well-being before pregnancy may have more trouble adjusting. Following an abortion, these teenagers experience unpleasant emotions such as depression, anxiety, and low self-esteem. Preabortion (baseline) emotional state is the most consistent finding with postabortion adjustment.

Age, ethnic group, race, religion, degree of education, and living circumstances do not appear to be associated with psychological results. If a teenager functions well before the abortion, she will continue functioning well. Significant people, particularly adults, support has been demonstrated to help teenagers make the best option for them.

According to research, teenagers gain from parental involvement in decision-making, but parents should be included only if they can stay impartial and supportive of their daughter. Educating a teenager about all the alternatives (childbearing and parenting, adoption, and abortion) may help her decide whatever option she feels comfortable with and is best for her. Planned Parenthood provides facts about adolescent pregnancy, abortion, and women's health on its website.


Adolescent pregnancy is one of the highest teen pregnancy rates among developed nations, with 54% of pregnancies resulting in birth, 32% aborted, and 13% resulting in miscarriage. Prevention of adolescent pregnancy issues must be designed with an awareness of teenage sexuality attitudes, sexual knowledge, and how these influence decision-making.

Adolescents are at risk of poor neonatal outcomes due to poor nutrition, drug use, and vaginal infections. Adolescents benefit from supportive parents, healthcare providers, and other adults who can help them through pregnancy and parenting. Adolescent abortion positively influences mental health, but adolescents with low emotional well-being may have more difficulty adjusting.

Updated on: 09-May-2023


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