Adolescent pregnancy, or teenage pregnancy, refers to pregnancies among women under the age of 19. It is a common health issue worldwide and tends to disproportionately affect marginalised populations. Factors such as socioeconomic status, culture, and education contribute to the problem.
There are also multiple social and economic issues on top of the existing health problems posed by teenage pregnancies. For example, younger women tend to experience complications related to pregnancy including childbirth. Furthermore, abortions are common as they are highly associated with unwanted pregnancies. Adolescent pregnancies are stigmatised, which may lead to rejection from their communities. These mothers are also more likely to drop out of school early, which may affect the chances of getting a good job.
Many unwanted teenage pregnancies may be avoided with the awareness of contraception. For more information about contraception, click here.
If you have been sexually assaulted, contact the police immediately. Further tests will have to be taken to ensure that you have not had a sexually transmitted disease (STD) and emergency contraception would be given to avoid an unwanted pregnancy.
The symptoms of a pregnancy vary according to person. The first most common sign of a pregnancy is a missed period. An average menstrual cycle lasts between 21 to 40 days. If you have missed a period, you may want to consider getting a simple pregnancy test. Other symptoms include:
Nausea, vomiting (morning sickness)
Change in appetite or aversion to certain food
Giddiness or tiredness
If you are pregnant, you should discuss with your partner as well as your support network including close family and friends about plans for the future. This may include raising a child together with your partner, alone, or with the support of family and friends, giving the baby up for adoption, and abortion. If you would like to consider an abortion, please note that the laws vary worldwide. In some countries, abortion is illegal or only prohibited to save a woman's life. Click here for more information on how to prevent unsafe abortion.
For more information, please visit: https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/articles/9709-pregnancy-am-i-pregnant, https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/emergency-contraception