Adolescent pregnancy

timer Asked: Nov 5th, 2017
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Adolescent pregnancy (i.e. in females 13 to 19 years of age) is associated with an increased risk of complications to the mother, fetus and the infant during pregnancy and delivery in the form of preterm delivery, low birth weight infant and infant mortality (American Family Physician, 2007). Some of the risk factors associated with adolescent pregnancy include but are not limited to drug and alcohol use, poverty, knowledge deficit about sex or contraception, sexual abuse, peer pressure, poor education, single parent family background, low self esteem and early age sexual activity.

The Texas Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy is a non-profit statewide leadership organization that works on preventing unintended teen pregnancies by customizing and communicating accurate evidence-based research information on teen pregnancy and raising awareness about effective prevention programs and policies while providing ideas for talking to youth about sexual development. They can be reached at 1.855.TXCAMPAIGN (1 855 89 2267 2446), email at or visit their website at

Healthy Teen Network is another nonprofit resource organization that focuses on adolescent sexual and reproductive health care, including pregnant and parenting teens. They provide guide and support to support adolescents and young adults on how to be effective parents and successful adults giving them the opportunity to lead healthy and fulfilling lives. They can be contacted via phone with 1 (410) 685-0410.

According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), Office of Adolescent Health (OAH), In 2008, Texas was ranked 3 out of 51 (50 states + the District of Columbia) on 2011 final teen births rates among females aged 15-19 (with 1 representing the highest rate and 51 representing the lowest rate). By 2011, Texas has moved down to number 5 out of 51 (DHHS, 2014).

The Monte Carlo simulation report from 2005 to 2015 shows that the number of adolescent, Hispanic females in Texas increased by 45%. During this same period, the expected pregnancy risk for 15 to 19 year old females increased to 13% or 127 per 1,000 women. This increase is due largely to the rise in the pregnancy risk among the growing population of Hispanic adolescents (Medscape, 2016). The New York Times in an article, dated July 5th 2014, stated, “From 1991 to 2012, the birthrate among teenagers nationwide declined by 52%, but Texas did not fare as well, reporting a 43% decline for that period” (NY Times, 2014). Texas also reported the highest rate of repeat births among teenagers.

Some of the reasons for the increase in adolescent pregnancy rate increase may be attributed to the fact that Texas schools are not required to teach sex education and when they do, it has to focus on abstinence only. Also the limited access to health care and insurance for the poor, as well as the high rates of school dropouts and poverty may be a contributing factor to this issue (NY Times, 2014). The third reason is the limited availability of family planning clinics to help guide adolescents on different methods of pregnancy prevention.

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