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You are here : 3-RX.com > Medical Encyclopedia > Diseases and Conditions > Teenage Pregnancy
      Category : Health Centers > Pregnancy and Childbirth

Teenage Pregnancy

Alternate Names : Adolescent Pregnancy

Overview, Causes, & Risk Factors | Symptoms & Signs | Diagnosis & Tests | Prevention & Expectations | Treatment & Monitoring

Teenage pregnancy is a pregnancy that occurs in an adolescent. An adolescent is a female who has reached puberty and is 19 years old or younger. Puberty is the stage of adolescence when a girl can sexually reproduce.

What is going on in the body?

A young woman can become pregnant even before her first menstrual cycle. Ovulation, release of an egg from the ovary, may occur before the first period. In the absence of birth control, the egg can become fertilized.

Penetration does not have to occur for a teenager to become pregnant. Sperm in the area of the external vulva can cause pregnancy. Teens need to understand a woman's body and how it functions before they become sexually active.

What are the causes and risks of the condition?

The ultimate cause of teenage pregnancy is unprotected intercourse. This results in fertilization of the egg by the sperm. Risk factors for teenage pregnancy include the following:

  • delinquency
  • depression
  • exposure to child abuse
  • high-risk behaviors, such as smoking, alcohol use, and drug abuse
  • limited job opportunities
  • low academic interest and achievement
  • poverty
  • previous unplanned teenage pregnancy
  • sexual abuse
  • single-parent homes
  • social isolation
  • stress
  • trouble in school or with the law


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    Teenage Pregnancy: Symptoms & Signs

    Author: Eva Martin, MD
    Reviewer: Gail Hendrickson, RN, BS
    Date Reviewed: 03/28/01

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