Alternate Names : Adolescent Pregnancy
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:
exposure to child abuse
high-risk behaviors, such as
use, and drug
limited job opportunities
low academic interest and achievement
previous unplanned teenage pregnancy
trouble in school or with the law