Teen Pregnancy

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Young People and Family Planning: Teenage Pregnancy
DEFINITION Teenage pregnancy is defined as a teenage girl, usually within the ages of 13-19, becoming pregnant. The term in everyday speech usually refers to girls who have not reached legal adulthood, which varies across the world, who become pregnant. THE CURRENT SITUATION

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Half of the world’s population are under 25. Some 1.8 billion are aged 10-25, history’s largest generation of adolescents, and about 85% live in the developing world. Most people become sexually active before their 20th birthday. 49% of girls in least developed countries marry before they turn 18. 10% – 40% of young unmarried girls have had an unintended pregnancy according to community studies. Some 14 million children worldwide are born every year to young married and unmarried women aged 15 to 19.

CAUSES OF TEEN PREGNANCIES Teen pregnancies may result for different reasons in industrialised countries as compared to developing countries. Factors that contribute to teenage pregnancies include:

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Customs and traditions that lead to early marriage (developing countries) Adolescent sexual behaviour which may also be influenced by alcohol and drugs Lack of education and information about reproductive sexual health including lack of access to tools that prevent pregnancies Peer pressure to engage in sexual activity Incorrect use of contraception Sexual abuse that leads to rape Poverty Exposure to abuse, violence and family strife at home Low self esteem Low educational ambitions and goals

Compiled by UNICEF Malaysia Communications, July 2008


TEEN PREGNANCY: LIFE OUTCOMES ON A TEEN MOTHER, HER CHILD AND SIBLINGS Research indicates that teen pregnancy and motherhood can have detrimental socio economic and psychological outcomes for the teen mother, her child, and her young siblings. a) A teen mother is more likely to:

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