What is the main cause of Teenage Pregnancy?

Every countries population largely comprises teenagers and while they are believed to be the future of the country, they suffer from a lot of difficulties while growing up and one of the most concerning of these is teenage pregnancy. Teenage pregnancy is pregnancy in girls between 10 to 19 years of age. This teenage motherhood is a cause of great concern and should not be overlooked and one should not turn a blind eye towards this situation.

Adolescence or teenage represent a crucial time for development and growth and their minds are fragile, still developing, they do not resemble an adult’s brain until they attain the age of 20. The exposure to risk is the maximum during this time and therefore proper care and precautions should be taken. We’ve known this and studied in history that teenage pregnancy isn’t something that is absolutely new. Throughout history and even now it was common for girls to be married away at a young age or rather to but it across better they were married once they hit puberty and then after a year of getting married they experience their first birth.

While all this especially this reproductive behavior was considered to be normal, but times have changed and people have started taking pregnancy problems in teenagers very seriously. However, these problems can be prevented with continuous health coverage and it will therefore help teenagers to improve their health. 

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World health organization(WHO)’s report suggested that around 16 million girls between the age of 15 to 19 years and around one million girls younger than 15 years give birth daily. Isn’t this report shocking? Well, yes it is. 

United Nations International children’s Emergency Fund(UNICEF)’s report conducted around 15 years ago suggested that every fifth child is born by an adolescent mother and 80 per cent of these so-called teenage pregnancies occur in third world countries. Nowadays a huge number of pregnancies occur in low- and middle-income countries, who are characterised by poor health care services, not just this it causes pregnancy complications and is one of the major reasons for death among girls from the age of 15 and 19 years throughout the world. 

It was found through reports that an estimate of around three million teenage girls go through unsafe abortions which in return results in consecutive reproduction problems and even death. 

Our traditional society longs for these pregnancies, studies have associated enormous risk with these teenage pregnancies such as anemia, preterm birth, preeclampsia. 


Teenage pregnancies, however still occur in high-income countries and despite much better medical care teenage pregnancies are considered risky and policy tries to avoid too early motherhood. This is not only due to medical problems, but first of all the social consequences of teenage motherhood.

In developed countries, by contrast, teenage birth rates are quite low, and teenage motherhood is discouraged, debated as a public health problem, and considered a societal challenge. Nevertheless, there are considerable differences in teenage pregnancy rates between the different developed nations. 

Female reproduction has always been risky and doubtless pregnancies and births are, independent of maternal age, a critical phase in the life of mother and fetus. Teenage pregnancies were seen as a problem because adverse health consequences of teenage pregnancies were solely attributed to the young maternal age for a long time.

It was documented that Hildegard of Vinzgouw the second wife of Charlemagne, was about 14 years old when she delivered her first son in 772 AD. Another prominent example is Margaret Beauford, who was only 13 years old when she gave birth to Henry VII of England in 1457. Margaret Beaufort’s granddaughter Margaret Tudor gave birth to her first three children before her 19th birthday. These are only a few historical examples; childbirth during the second decade of life is quite common even today. In 2008, there was much debate concerning the teenage motherhood of Bristol Palin, the daughter of Sarah Palin, the daughter of Sarah Palin, the Governor of Alaska, and vice-presidential candidate of the US.

However, it is really a chicken-egg debate because it remains unclear if social disadvantage is the reason or the result of teenage motherhood. 

India and adolescent 

India’s large adolescent population of more than 243 million parents both unprecedented opportunities and challenges. Although these adolescents hold the promise of achieving a growing body of work show persistent challenges to adolescent health and development, including nutrition deficits, exclusion from livelihood choice, social engagement, and health services, and unequal gender norms inside and outside the home.

In India, more than 50 percent of adolescents who are married have already given birth to children. The prevalence of teenage pregnancies is inversely proportional to their levels of education. At least twenty percent of the women who got pregnant as teenagers had no schooling. There is also a higher prevalence of teenage pregnancies at 10.6 percent in the poorest wealth quintile and tends to lower at 2.5 percent in the highest quintile similarly, teenage pregnancies tend to be higher in scheduled tribe communities as compared to other castes. Sadly, not much has changed in India with regards to child marriage, teenage pregnancies, and associated malnutrition for adolescents. It is disturbing, given that India is expected to have the biggest national adolescent girl population by 2030 at 95 million; and that is exactly why it is imperative to undertake measures that can reduce child marriage and teenage pregnancies in order to check maternal and infant mortality rate. 

Decrease teenage pregnancy rates

Some recent studies have demonstrated that a well-acting social welfare system including apparent psychological support and parental care improves the obstetric outcome in teenage mothers significantly. The Wealth Health Organisation published guidelines in 2011 to prevent early pregnancies and reduce poor reproduction outcomes. 

The six main objectives were defined as follows:

  • Reducing marriage before the age of 18
  • Creating understanding and support to reduce pregnancy before the age of 2o
  • Increasing the use of contraception by adolescents at the risk of unintended pregnancy
  • Reducing conceived sex among adolescents
  • Reducing unsafe abortion among adolescents. 

Factors Contributing to Adolescent Pregnancy

  • Lack of education or dropping out of school
  • Sexual Violence
  • Pressure from either family or society to marry early.
  • Inadequate access to services tailored for young people.
  • Early and forced marriage, a child can be both a cause and a consequence. 
  • Lack of information about sexual and reproductive health and rights. 

Factors such as parental income and the extent of a girl’s education have a huge contribution to teenage pregnancy. Girls with minimal education are five times more likely to become pregnant than those who have a higher level of education. 

Many times girls view pregnancy as a better option than continuing with their education. 


Unfortunately, sex education is lacking in many countries and consequently, young girls are not aware of the physiological basis of reproduction and contraceptives. Therefore, sex education programs have to be implemented not just in schools but also in clinics, community organizations, and youth-oriented community agencies.  

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