Teenage pregnancy is pregnancy in human females under the age of 20 at the time that the pregnancy ends. A pregnancy can take place in a pubertal female before menarche (the first menstrual period), which signals the possibility of fertility, but usually occurs after menarche. In well-nourished girls, menarche usually takes place around the age of 12 or 13.
Pregnant teenagers face many of the same obstetrics issues as other women. There are, however, additional medical concerns for mothers aged under 15. For mothers aged 15–19, risks are associated more with socioeconomic factors than with the biological effects of age. However, research has shown risks of low birth weight, premature labor, anemia, and pre-eclampsia are connected to the biological age itself, as it was observed in teen births even after controlling for other risk factors (such as utilization of antenatal care etc.).
In developed countries, teenage pregnancies are often associated with social issues, including lower educational levels, higher rates of poverty, and other poorer life outcomes in children of teenage mothers. Teenage pregnancy in developed countries is usually outside of marriage, and carries a social stigma in many communities and cultures.
By contrast, teenage parents in developing countries are often married, and their pregnancies welcomed by family and society. However, in these societies, early pregnancy may combine with malnutrition and poor health care to cause medical problems. Definition
The age of the mother is determined by the easily verified date when the pregnancy ends, not by the estimated date of conception. Consequently, the statistics do not include women who became pregnant at least shortly before their 20th birthdays, but who gave birth, experienced a miscarriage, or had a voluntary abortion on or after their 20th birthdays. Similarly, statistics on the mother's marital status are determined by whether she is married at the end of the pregnancy, not at the time of conception. Prevalence
Main article: Prevalence of teenage pregnancy
Teenage birth rate per 1,000 females aged 15–19, 2000–2009 Worldwide
In reporting teenage pregnancy rates, the number of pregnancies per 1,000 females aged 15 to 19 when the pregnancy ends is generally used.
Worldwide, teenage pregnancy rates range from 143 per 1000 in some sub-Saharan African countries to 2.9 per 1000 in South Korea. In the United States, 82% of pregnancies in those between 15 and 19 are unplanned. Among OECD developed countries, the United States, United Kingdom and New Zealand have the highest level of teenage pregnancy, while Japan and South Korea have the lowest in 2001. According to a 2001 UNICEF survey, in 10 out of 12 developed nations with available data, more than two thirds of young people have had sexual intercourse while still in their teens. In Denmark, Finland, Germany, Iceland, Norway, the United Kingdom and the United States, the proportion is over 80%. In Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States, approximately 25% of 15-year-olds and 50% of 17-year-olds have had sex. According to The Encyclopedia of Women's Health, published in 2004, approximately 15 million girls under the age of 20 in the world have a child each year. Estimates were that 20–60% of these pregnancies in developing countries are mistimed or unwanted.
Save the Children found that, annually, 13 million children are born to women aged under 20 worldwide, more than 90% in developing countries. Complications of pregnancy and childbirth are the leading cause of mortality among women aged 15–19 in such areas. Sub-Saharan Africa
The highest rate of teenage pregnancy in the world is in sub-Saharan Africa, where women tend to marry at an early age. In Niger, for example, 87% of women surveyed were married and 53% had given birth to a child before the age of 18. India
In the Indian subcontinent, early marriage...
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