Teen pregnancy is one of the most difficult experiences a young person might ever face when it interrupts school or
other plans. It can create an emotional crisis resulting in feelings of shame and fear, and it may appear that you will
crumble under pressures in your environment. The stress of how you are going to break this news to your parents
might be even greater, and finding help may seem an impossible task.
You might think no one can help you, or you might be too embarrassed to search for help. However, denying the
pregnancy or ignoring it can only make things worse for you and your baby. Denial will not take the pregnancy away;
instead, you will lose the time you could have invested in prenatal care and counseling. You have options, and
making a choice may be simple or difficult, depending on your situation. Check resources carefully and try to give
yourself the opportunity to make the best informed decision possible.
is formally defined as a
in a young woman who has not reached her 20th birthday
when the pregnancy ends, regardless of whether the woman is married or is
legally an adult
(age 14 to 21, depending
on the country). In everyday speech, the speaker is usually referring to unmarried
who become pregnant
The average age of
(first menstrual period) was 12 to 13 years old in the United States, France, Italy,
Spain, and Greece girls in the early 2000s, though this figure varies by ethnicity and country and during human
occurs only irregularly before this. Whether the onset of
in young women leads to
pregnancy depends on a number of factors, both societal and personal. Worldwide, rates of teenage pregnancy
range from 143 per 1000 in some sub-Saharan African countries to 2.9 per 1000 in South Korea.
Pregnant teenagers face many of the same
issues as women in their 20s and 30s. However, there are
additional medical concerns for mothers age 14 or younger, especially if they live in a developing country.
mothers between 15 and 19, age in itself is not a risk factor, but additional risks may be associated with
, teenage pregnancies are associated with many
levels, higher rates of
, and other poorer "life outcomes" in children of teenage mothers.
Teenage pregnancy in developed countries is usually outside of marriage, and carries a
communities and cultures. Many studies and campaigns have attempted to uncover the causes and limit the numbers
of teenage pregnancies.
In other countries and cultures, particularly in the
, teenage pregnancy is
usually within marriage and does not involve a social stigma.