Adolescent Pregnancy: Review
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Adolescence means transfer to adulthood from childhood. The World Health Organization (WHO) suggests that adolescence occurs between 10-19 years of age. Adolescents account for 20% of the world population and 85% live in developing countries. Adolescent pregnancies cause major health problems in both developing and developed countries. The rate of birth among 15-19 year olds is approximately 54 parts per thousand throughout the world and 46 parts per thousand in Turkey. Pregnant adolescents generate more than half of the world population. Studies suggest that menarche age, coitus frequency, race, ethnic group, marital status, family structure, communication with parents, parents' education and employment status, adolescents socioeconomic status, social insurance, social support source are correlated with adolescence pregnancy. The risk factors of adolescent pregnancy are multiple and complex. They are abortion, preterm labor, hypertension in pregnancy, anemia, low birth weight, risk of congenital anomaly, interference delivery, increasing HIV risk, smoking and substance use, malaria, inadequate antenatal care and contraception. Socioeconomic status is of major importance in adolescence pregnancy. Improvement of socioeconomic status of countries, increase in annual income per capita and adequate counseling services are key factors for the solution of this problem. Effective counseling services may prevent sexually transmitted diseases and unintentional pregnancies. Counseling services should be made available to adolescents during their entire education period within the concept of a national education campaign using mass media tools.