Early pregnancy (in adolescence): causes and consequences

The World Health Organization considers teenage pregnancy to be any pregnancy that occurs before the age of 19, with the majority of cases occurring between the ages of 15 and 19.

Early pregnancy is often due to culture, low economic status and difficulty in accessing contraceptive methods.

Pregnancy at an early stage of life, such as adolescence, can result in several consequences for both the pregnant woman and the baby, such as depression during and after pregnancy, premature birth and increased blood pressure.

Main consequences of early pregnancy

Early pregnancy can have several consequences for both the mother and the baby, and can have physical, psychological and socioeconomic impacts:

1. Physical consequences

Due to the fact that the woman is not fully physically ready for pregnancy, there is a greater chance of premature birth, early rupture of the waters and spontaneous abortion, for example.

In addition, weight loss, anemia and changes in the process of formation of blood vessels in the placenta may occur, which may result in increased blood pressure, a condition known as pre-eclampsia. Understand what pre-eclampsia is.

2. Psychological consequences

Most girls who are pregnant early are not emotionally prepared to be mothers, which is why it is common for them to develop depression, both during pregnancy and after giving birth. There may also be a decrease in self-esteem and emotional problems between mother and baby.

3. Socioeconomic consequences

It is very common for women to have to abandon their studies or work during and after pregnancy, as it can be difficult to reconcile the two, in addition to suffering immense pressure from society, often from their own family, in relation to marriage and the fact of being pregnant while still a teenager.

Furthermore, being pregnant is often considered a reason for companies not to hire, as it tends to represent a greater expense for the company, since within a few months you will go on maternity leave.

4. Consequences for the baby

The fact that a woman is not physically and emotionally prepared can increase the chances of premature birth, low birth weight and even the risk of changes in the child’s development.

Due to all the implications that early pregnancy can cause, this type of pregnancy is considered a high-risk pregnancy and must be monitored by qualified health professionals to avoid or reduce the impact of the consequences. Learn about the risks of teenage pregnancy.

Causes of early pregnancy

The main causes of early pregnancy are due to several different factors, but can include:

  • First period too early;
  • Misinformation about pregnancy and contraceptive methods;
  • Low financial and social level;
  • Families with other cases of early pregnancy;
  • Conflicts and bad family environment.

Teenage pregnancy can happen in any social class, but it is more frequent in low-income families, as young women, due to a lack of goals or family incentives regarding studies, often come to believe that having a child represents a life project.

What to do in case of teenage pregnancy

In the case of early pregnancy, what the young woman can do is make an appointment with a doctor to start prenatal care and tell her family to get the necessary support.

Psychologists and obstetricians, as well as nurses and social workers, should be informed so that adequate prenatal monitoring can be carried out to reduce complications for both mother and baby. This type of monitoring also helps to prevent new teenage pregnancies and encourage young mothers to return to school.


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