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Adolescent Pregnancy

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Summary

Annually, approximately 21 million girls ages 15 to 19 become pregnant worldwide. Just 16 million of those 21 million give birth. Additionally, 2.5 million girls younger than 15 become pregnant in developing nations annually — meaning that, in total, 11 percent of all births involve teenage mothers.1 Girls who give birth under the age of 15 are twice as likely to die from complications than other women, and face a much higher risk of obstetric fistula, the tearing of the birth canal or vaginal and rectal areas.2 Girls with obstetric fistula are often ostracized by their families and communities due to the odor from their incontinence or their inability to work or bear children, leading to many women being divorced and left vulnerable.3 Complications with pregnancy and childbirth are the leading cause of death for girls ages 15 to 19, causing 70,000 deaths each year.4,5 Additionally, the risk of infant death is 60 percent greater if the infant's mother is under the age of 18 when she gives birth than if she is over the age of 19.6 Adolescent pregnancy also has negative educational and economic implications for both young girls and their communities, leaving adolescent mothers with little education and few vocational skills, reducing their opportunities for finding a job or supporting themselves or their children.7 Show References
1 http://www.who.int/en/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/adolescent-pregnancy 2 https://rewire.news/article/2013/10/30/report-calls-for-intergated-efforts-to-reduce-teenage-pregnancy-worldwide/ 3 Ibid 4 http://www.unicef.org/protection/57929_58008.html 5 http://www.unicef.org/media/media_68114.html 6 http://www.unicef.org/protection/57929_58008.html 7 http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs364/en/
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