Teen Pregnancy

Menstuff® has compiled information on the issue of teen pregnancy. May is National Teen Pregnancy Prevention month (see how many babies have been born to mothers under 15 so far this year .)

I'm gonna have a baby!


Q: Is 13 years old too young to get pregnant?
A: Go here www.teenwire.com/ask/articles/as_20020117p345.asp

National Teen Pregnancy Prevention Month
Many Teen Moms Didn't Believe They Could Get Pregnant
One Million Teen Pregnancies Each Year
North Carolina Paying Teenage Girls Not to Procreate
Fact Sheet on Adolescents who have Babies
Reasons why teen birth rates are at an all-time low
Different Programs Do Help Reduce Teen Pregnancy Rates
How to tell your parents you’re pregnant or you made someone pregnant
I Really Want to Have a Baby!
I Want it Now! or why becoming a parent should never be rushed
Teen Pregnancy Rates Edge Higher

Sexual Acitivity
Contraceptive Use
Sexualy Transmitted Diseases
Teen Pregnancy
Teen Births Down, Unmarried Births Up
Unwed Mothers
How to tell your parents you’re pregnant or you made someone pregnant
Teen Pregnancy Outcomes
Teenage Sex: Can You Influence Your Child's Decisions?
Teen Mothers and Their Children
Glossary of Sex Terms

Related Issues: Talking With Kids About Tough Issues, Reproduction, STDS, Contraception, Condoms, Safer Sex, Teen Sex, Impotency, General Sexuality
Resource: Facts of Life Line, Prevent Teen Pregnancy State Coalitions

Teen Pregnancy Rates in the USA

The birth rate for teens has been declining in recent years.

Resources in the United States:
Planned Parenthood 1-800-230-PLAN - 24 hour hotline will direct you to the clinic nearest to you.
National Office of Post Abortion Trauma 1-800-593-2273
National Abortion Federation 1-800-772-9100
National Adoption Center 1-800-862-3678 - dedicated to expanding adoption opportunities in the U.S.
Post-Abortion Project Rachel 1-800-5WE-CARE
The Independent Adoption Center 1-800-877-6736
Children of the World - (if you want to adopt) 1-973-239-0100
Source: by Victor C. Strasburger, MD, University of New Mexico School of Medicine, www.coolnurse.com/teen_pregnancy_rates.htm

Many Teen Moms Didn't Believe They Could Get Pregnant

A new government study suggests a lot of teenage girls are clueless about their chances of getting pregnant.

In a survey of thousands of teenage mothers who had unintended pregnancies, about a third who didn't use birth control said the reason was they didn't believe they could pregnant.

Why they thought that isn't clear. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention survey didn't ask teens to explain.

But other researchers have talked to teen moms who believed they couldn't get pregnant the first time they had sex, didn't think they could get pregnant at that time of the month or thought they were sterile.

"This report underscores how much misperception, ambivalence and magical thinking put teens at risk for unintended pregnancy," said Bill Albert, a spokesman for the Washington, D.C.-based National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy.

Other studies have asked teens about their contraception use and beliefs about pregnancy. But the CDC report released Thursday is the first to focus on teens who didn't want to get pregnant but did.

The researchers interviewed nearly 5,000 teenage girls in 19 states who gave birth after unplanned pregnancies in 2004 through 2008. The survey was done through mailed questionnaires with telephone follow-up.

About half of the girls in the survey said they were not using any birth control when they got pregnant. That's higher than surveys of teens in general, which have found that fewer than 20 percent said they didn't use contraception the last time they had sex.

"I think what surprised us was the extent to which they were not using contraception," said Lorrie Gavin, a CDC senior scientist who co-authored the report.

Some of the teen moms were asked what kind of birth control they used: Nearly 20 percent said they used the pill or a birth control patch. Another 24 percent said they used condoms.

CDC officials said they do not believe that the pill, condoms and other forms of birth control were faulty. Instead, they think the teens failed to use it correctly or consistently.

Only 13 percent of those not using contraception said they didn't because they had trouble getting it.

Another finding: Nearly a quarter of the teen moms who did not use contraception said they didn't because their partner did not want them to. That suggests that sex education must include not only information about anatomy and birth control, but also about how to deal with situations in which a girl feels pressured to do something she doesn't want to, Albert said. (See: 23 Reasons Not to Use Condoms)

The findings are sobering, he added. But it's important to remember that the overall teen birth rate has been falling for some time, and recently hit its lowest mark in about 70 years.

Albert said it would be a mistake to come away from the report saying, "They can't figure this out?" "Most of them are figuring it out," he said.
Source: www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/01/19/cdc-many-teen-moms-didnt-_n_1217977.html?icid=maing-grid10%7Chtmlws-main-bb%7Cdl4%7Csec1_lnk3%26pLid%3D129021

One Million Teen Pregnancies Each Year

Although teen pregnancy and birth rates in the U.S. declined significantly during the 1990s, approximately 1 million American teenage girls still get pregnant each year. That is by far the highest rate of teen pregnancies of any industrialized nation -- and eight out of 10 are unplanned, according to NCPTP figures. (See how many babies have been born to mothers under 15 so far this year.)

After rising 23% between 1972 and 1990, pregnancies among girls between the ages of 15 and 19 declined 17% between 1990 and 1996. The teen birth rate dropped by 20% between 1991 and 1999, to approximately 50 births per 1,000 young women.

So is the drop in teen pregnancies due to fewer adolescents having sex or to better contraception use among those who are sexually active?

The answer depends on whom you ask. Groups promoting abstinence until marriage say their message is finally getting through, and statistics do suggest fewer teens are having sex than a decade ago. High-profile celebrities who have gone public with their virginity, such as pop singer Jessica Simpson and NBA star A.C. Green, have helped to give the abstinence movement a certain cachet among the young.

"I go to a private school, and the majority of my peers are abstinent," 18-year-old high school junior Nick Reid tells WebMD. "I don't know if you can say that at most public schools, but that may be a gross generalization." Reid, who lives in Nashville, serves on the NCPTP's youth leadership team.

A report from the Alan Guttmacher Institute, the nation's largest nonprofit organization studying reproductive health, suggests three-fourths of the recent decline in pregnancies among teens is due to better contraceptive use and only one-fourth is due to abstinence.

"If people are suggesting that abstinence is the primary reason for the decline in pregnancy rates, that is just not accurate," says Cynthia Dailard, senior policy analyst with the institute. "We see politicians, including the president, pushing abstinence-only education and calling for teens to abstain from sex. But research shows that comprehensive methods of sexual education that discuss methods of contraception, while encouraging teenagers to delay sexual activity, are most effective."

Abstinence vs. Contraception

As a presidential candidate, George W. Bush repeatedly expressed his support for abstinence-only school-based programs, saying a top administration priority would be to "elevate abstinence education from an afterthought to an urgent goal." In a speech delivered in July 1999, candidate Bush said, "It seems like to me the contraceptive message sends a contradictory message. It tends to undermine the message of abstinence."

The comments appear to contradict the findings of the nation's top public and private health organizations. A National Institutes of Health report, published in 1997, called sexual abstinence a desirable objective, but added that, "programs must include instruction in safer sex behavior, including condom use." The American Academy of Pediatrics weighed in on the issue in a report published early in 2001, noting that "all adolescents should be counseled about the correct and consistent use of latex condoms to reduce the risk of infection."

And a newly released NCPTP study evaluating sex education programs found that education efforts that discuss contraception use do not hasten the onset of sex, increase the frequency of sex, nor increase the number of sexual partners among teens. Likewise, making condoms and other contraceptives available in schools does not hasten or increase sexual activity, the report concluded.

A survey of parents, conducted last year by the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, found that four out of five agreed that information about contraceptives should be included in school-based sex education programs. The National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy survey found that more than 90% of adults and teens said a strong abstinence message is important, but 69% of adults and 67% of teens said it was also important to teach contraception.

"Only a handful of conservative politicians are pushing the more stringent abstinence education, but they are very powerful," Dailard says. "And parents and teachers aren't willing to be real vocal about this issue."

Sanden calls the debate over abstinence vs. contraceptive use counterproductive and irrelevant, and high school junior Reid agrees.

"The fact is, teens need to choose either abstinence or contraception, and many aren't motivated to make that choice." Sanden says. "Kids who don't think about this ahead of time are the ones who have a huge risk of getting pregnant."

"I think you can get into a war of words with the abstinence vs. contraception debate, and you probably won't go anywhere with that," Reid adds. "Abstinence is the best and most desired method of preventing pregnancy, but it is also not very realistic for many teens."

Opening the Dialogue

So how do parents approach discussions of sex with their children? First, don't hesitate to express your own opinions about what is appropriate behavior, according to recommendations from the NCPTP. Make sure the discussions are age-appropriate, but be prepared to get specific with older children and teens.

Monitoring the magazines they read and the television they watch may be a good way of easing into discussions of sex, Sanders says. She admits that it takes some courage to watch teen-oriented nighttime soap operas like "Dawson's Creek" and "7th Heaven" with your kids. A story line on "Dawson's Creek" this season, for example, had main characters Joey and Pacey having sex, and Joey fearing that she might be pregnant.

"You may be cringing the whole time you are sitting there watching, but later on it is going to pay off," she says. "Instead of throwing up your hands and ranting about how the media is such a terrible influence, you could use the situation to talk about the consequences of sex."

Teens, Reid says, need to feel they can talk to their parents about sex.

"I think parents are pretty uncomfortable talking about sex, but it is important and they need to address it," he says. "Kids do respect their parents' opinions, but the parents don't really know that. They don't think they have an influence, but they actually do."
Source: my.webmd.com/printing/article/1687.50985

Reasons why teen birth rates are at an all-time low

A new government report shows teen birth rates have fallen drastically in the past two decades and have even hit a record low.

The report, published Wednesday on the CDC website, shows teen birth rates took a 57 percent nosedive between 1991 and 2013. At the end of that period, American teens were less than one-third as likely to give birth as they had been in 1957. The decline was seen across all 50 states and all races and ethnic groups.

In fact, outside of a brief spike on the graph between 1986 and 1991, the report says teen birth rates have

been steadily declining for nearly a half-century. So why such a big drop? Well, there are a number of theories.

Let's start with money. This 2011 Pew Research Center study shows a strong correlation between the birth rates for women of all ages and the overall ebb and flow of U.S. economy.

Pew also says "less sex, more contraception and more information" has helped sustain the downward trend.

Interestingly enough, a Brookings Institute study says reality shows like MTV's "16 and Pregnant" and "Teen Mom" have played a huge role in bringing teen pregnancy to the public eye.

"We attribute 5.7 percent reduction in teen child bearing to the introduction of '16 and Pregnant' in June 2009. So, to be clear, that's a third of the decline in the overall teen child bearing we've seen for this period."

There are also a number of public health initiatives playing a role.

Colorado, for example, has seen a 40 percent drop in teen births over the past few years, which The Washington Post reports is being credited to a program that provides long-term contraception, like IUDs or implants, to young women.

As for the study itself, one expert on preventing teen pregnancy celebrated what he said were "eye-opening" stats with HealthDay. "These historic declines in teen pregnancy and births truly represent one of the nation's great success stories over the past two decades."
Sources: www.aol.com/article/2014/08/20/reasons-why-teen-birth-rates-are-at-an-all-time-low/20950157/?icid=maing-grid7%7Cmain5%7Cdl40%7Csec1_lnk2%26pLid%3D518171

Fact Sheet on Adolescents who have Babies

Fifty percent of adolescents who have a baby become pregnant again within two years of the baby's birth.

Twenty-five percent of adolescents who have one baby have a second baby within two years of the first baby's birth.

In 1996, 22 percent of all births to 15-19 year old young women in the US were repeat births, i.e. a second birth or higher.

The second baby born to an adolescent mother is at higher risk than the first baby to be low birth weight.

Adolescent mothers who return to school after the first birth are less likely to have a repeat birth in the first year after the first birth.

The children of adolescent mothers are at increased risk for being a teen parent themselves.

The children of adolescent mothers are at increased risk for dropping out of school as adolescents.

The children of adolescent mothers who continue to have close ties with their fathers while they are growing up have better outcomes in education and employment as adults.
Source: Marianne E. Felice, M.D., Professor of Pediatrics, University of Massachusetts, Board of Directors, Campaign For Our Children, www.cfoc.org/4_parent/4_facts.cfm?Fact_ID=124&FactCat_ID=12

Different Programs Do Help Reduce Teen Pregnancy Rates

Programs designed to address teen sexuality, and several that do not address sex at all, have played a major role in reducing teen pregnancy rates over the past decade, a newly released study suggests. But it is not yet clear whether the abstinence-only programs favored by the Bush administration are effective.

Research from The National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy, or NCPTP, found that sex education programs discussing and/or providing contraception did not hasten the onset of sex, increase the frequency of sex, or increase the number of sexual partners teens had.

"We now know that several different types of programs actually do reduce sexual risk-taking behavior, either by delaying sex or increasing condom and contraceptive use," study author Douglas Kirby, PhD, tells WebMD. "This research shows that a variety of different programs are effective. This is important because it means organizations and communities can pursue different approaches and still have an impact upon teen pregnancies."

Kirby reviewed research on a wide range of programs aimed at children and teens, including school-based sexuality and abstinence programs, those associated with contraceptive and family planning clinics, those focusing on voluntary community service, and those combining education, healthcare, community involvement, and recreation.

As a presidential candidate, George W. Bush repeatedly expressed his support for abstinence-only school-based programs, saying a top administration priority would be to "elevate abstinence education from an afterthought to an urgent goal." In a speech delivered in July 1999, candidate Bush said, "It seems like to me the contraceptive message sends a contradictory message. It tends to undermine the message of abstinence."

According to Kirby, there have not been enough good studies to determine whether abstinence-only education is effective in reducing teen pregnancies. A large, federally funded study addressing the question is now under way, but findings aren't expected for several years.

"We don't know whether abstinence-only programs work. They might or they might not," Kirby says. "But the evidence is overwhelming that talking about condoms and contraception, while emphasizing abstinence, does not increase sexual activity among young people."

Approximately 1 million teenage girls get pregnant in the United States each year, by far the highest rate of teen pregnancies of any industrialized nation, and eight out of 10 are unplanned, according to NCPTP figures. After rising 23% between 1972 and 1990, pregnancies among girls between the ages of 15 and 19 declined 17% between 1990 and 1996. The teen birth rate dropped by 20% between 1991 and 1999, to approximately 50 births per 1,000 young women.

The report, released today, highlighted several types of programs that are effective in delaying the onset of sex among teens, improving contraceptive use, and preventing pregnancy. Several programs focusing on sex and HIV education, with strong condom and contraception components, were found to successfully do all three.

Some programs that do not address sex at all, but instead get teens involved in volunteer work within the community, were found to have a significant impact on teen pregnancy.

"To be honest, we don't know why these programs are effective in reducing teen pregnancy," Kirby says. "It may be that they keep kids busy, or they may increase self esteem and cause kids to think about the future. For some very high-risk youth, participation in these programs may represent one of the first times that they are recognized by adults and the community for doing good, and that, in turn, makes them feel good about themselves."

The NCPTP report suggests that comprehensive programs incorporating a host of services for teens and preteens may be the most successful in reducing pregnancies over the long-term among high-risk adolescents. Among the best of these programs, the report found, is the Children's Aid Society Carrera program in New York.

Founded in 1985 in central Harlem by Michael A. Carrera, PhD, the program is now the model for 50 similar programs operating in 20 states. In addition to counseling and medical services, kids receive general education, sex education, and help finding after-school jobs. They are also given the opportunity to participate in sports and the performing arts.

Although other programs take a comprehensive approach to dealing with at-risk children and adolescents, Carrera says his program is unique because kids are followed closely and treated more like family than program participants.

"When a kid enters our program at 11, 12, or 13, we generally work with them until they graduate from high school," Carrera tells WebMD. "We see these kids almost every day, 12 months a year. And if they don't show up, we go and find them. There is a person on staff whose sole job is to track kids once they are in the program."

Program officials also released their own report Wednesday, outlining the findings from a three-year evaluation of six New York City sites and six sites in other urban areas. There were one-third fewer pregnancies and births among the 941 program participants than among a control group. Young girls in the program were also found to be able to avoid coercive sexual situations better than those who did not participate in the program.

"That is a stunning outcome, because it can easily impact a young woman's sexuality for the rest of her life," Carrera says. "If you can help a young woman withstand coercive sexual pressure, you may be influencing how she deals with sexual pressure from then on."

The Carrera program, while effective, is also expensive -- about $4,000 per year per child. It is funded entirely through private contributions, with the largest grants coming from the Robin Hood Foundation in New York City and Michigan's Charles Stewart Mott Foundation.

"The federal government has basically stayed away from programs that provide reproductive healthcare services that include contraception," Carrera says. "I would urge them to take a very careful look at this study and what we do. Without equivocation it indicates that we do know how to prevent teen pregnancy, and the government needs to have the will to enact it."
Source: Salynn Boyles, my.webmd.com/printing/article/1728.80597

Teen Pregnancy Rate Declines in US - 1990 to 2004

Fewer U.S. teens got pregnant in 2004 but more women in their 20s had out-of-wedlock pregnancies, according to new federal statistics released on Monday.

The latest look at U.S. pregnancy trends also shows more women are keeping their babies even if they are not married, with the exception of black women.

While 45 percent of all pregnancies are among women who are not married, the typical "unwed mother" is no longer a teenager but in fact an older woman, said Stephanie Ventura of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Center for Health Statistics.

"More of them are likely to have the baby rather than having an abortion compared to 1990," Ventura, who led the study, said in a telephone interview.

The report found that nearly 38 percent of pregnancies in 2004 were to women under the age of 25, which is down from nearly 43 percent in 1990.

Just 12 percent of all pregnancies were to teenagers, compared to 15 percent in 1990.

Overall, there were almost 6.4 million pregnancies in 2004 among U.S. women of all ages, down 6 percent from 1990.

Out of these pregnancies, 4.11 million babies were born. There were 1.22 million abortions and 1.06 million stillbirths and miscarriages. That means 64 percent of all pregnancies resulted in a live birth.

In 2006, 4.3 million live babies were born but data is not yet complete on abortions.

Ventura said it takes years to gather this kind of data.

Better Contraception

She said other studies have shed light on why pregnancy rates are going down among teens.

"There have been some changes in behavioral and contraceptive use among teenagers who are sexually active," Ventura said.

The report said pregnancy rates fell the most among sexually experienced teens, suggesting that better use of contraception may be responsible.

"There is some evidence that contraceptive use (for example, at first intercourse and at most recent intercourse) was increasing among teenagers through 2002," they wrote.

Meanwhile, more women are delaying childbearing.

"Among older women, birth rates have been going up -- that's something we have been watching for 20 to 30 years," Ventura said.

According to the study, 77 percent of births to unmarried women in 2006 were to women 20 and older.

"I guess maybe it is changes in attitude and a willingness

to have children when you are not married and that kind of thing," Ventura said.

About 3.5 million pregnancies were among married women and 2.98 million were to unmarried women.

"There are large racial disparities in most of these measures," Ventura said.

About two-thirds of white and Hispanic women who got pregnant ended up having their babies while 48 percent of black women did. Thirty seven percent of pregnancies to black women were aborted.

There are two possible reasons for this, the report found.

"First, non-Hispanic black women were less likely to use a contraceptive method at first intercourse and currently than white women," the researchers wrote.

Second, blacks had double the rate of "contraceptive failure" compared to whites.
Source: Maggie Fox, news.aol.com/health/story/ar/_a/teen-pregnancy-rate-declines-in-us/20080415102209990001

I Want it Now! or why becoming a parent should never be rushed

The majority of adolescent pregnancies are unplanned. But a good many teen pregnancies -- a general estimate is usually about one in five -- are intended or planned. One reason that sex education likely hasn't reduced teen pregnancy rates as much as it might is that some teens know full well what birth control is and how and when to use it, but choose not to, sometimes because they -- maybe you -- want to become pregnant.

In many cases, young women want to become pregnant for the same or similar reasons older women want to become pregnant (excerpted and adapted from the forthcoming Scarleteen book by Heather Corinna)


Sources: www.cdc.gov/nccdphp/teen.htm

Overall Teen Pregnancy Rates

• The teen pregnancy rate continued to decrease in 2003 and 2004. The teen pregnancy rate in 2004 was 72.2 pregnancies per 1,000 teen girls aged 15-19. There were a total of 729,000 pregnancies to teen girls age 15-19 in 2004.

• The teen pregnancy rate has decreased 38% between 1990 and 2004 (from 116.8 per 1,000 to 72.2 per 1,000 respectively). Rates by Age

• The teen pregnancy rate for girls under 15 years was 1.6 pregnancies per 1,000 girls in 2004. A decrease of 53% since 1990 (rate of 3.4 per 1,000). Note that the pregnancy rate for girls under 15 did not change between 2003 and 2004. There were a total of 16,000 pregnancies in 2004 to girls under 15 years of age.

• The teen pregnancy rate for girls age 15-17 years was 41.5 pregnancies per 1,000 girls in 2004. A decrease of 46% since 1990 (rate of 77.1 per 1,000). The pregnancy rate for girls age 15-17 also decreased 6% since 2002. There were a total of 252,000 pregnancies in 2004 to girls age 15-17.

• The teen pregnancy rate for girls age 18-19 years was 118.6 pregnancies per 1,000 girls in 2004. A decrease of 29% since 2002 (rate of 167.7 per 1,000). The pregnancy rate for girls age 18-19 also decreased 5% since 2002. There were a total of 477,000 pregnancies in 2004 to girls age 18-19. Rates by Race/Ethnicity (aged 15-19)

• The teen pregnancy rate was 45.2 per 1,000 for non-Hispanic white teen girls in 2004. Since 1990, the teen pregnancy rate has decreased 48% among non-Hispanic white teens. Among non-Hispanic white teen girls by age the teen pregnancy rate was 22.4 per 1,000 and 79.3 per 1,000 for girls age 15-17 and 18-19 respectively. There were a total of 289,000 pregnancies to non-Hispanic white teens in 2004.

• The teen pregnancy rate was 128 per 1,000 for non-Hispanic black teen girls in 2004. Since 1990, the teen pregnancy rate among non-Hispanic black teen girls has decreased 45%. Among non-Hispanic black teen girls by age the pregnancy rate is 80.1 per 1,000 teen girls age 15-17 and 202.9 per 1,000 teen girls age 18-19. Since 1990, the pregnancy rate has decreased 53% among non-Hispanic black teens aged 15-17 and has decreased 35% among non-Hispanic black teens age 18-19). There were a total of 198,000 pregnancies to non-Hispanic black teens in 2004.

• The teen pregnancy rate was 132.8 per 1,000 among Hispanic teen girls in 2004. Between 2003 and 2004, the teen pregnancy rate among Hispanic teen girls increased from 132.1 per 1,000 to 132.8 per 1,000. Since 1990, the teen pregnancy rate has decreased 21% among Hispanic teen girls. There were a total of 214,000 pregnancies to Hispanic teens in 2004.

• Among young Hispanic teen girls (age 15-17) the teen pregnancy rate was 82.9 per 1,000, a slight increase between 2003 and 2004 (from 82.8 in 2003). Among older

Hispanic teen girls (age 18-19) the teen pregnancy rate was 210.0, an increase of 1% from 2003 (207.5 per 1,000).
Source: www.thenationalcampaign.org/resources/pdf/NCHS_pregdata08.pdf

Teen Pregnancy Rates Edge Higher

National Institutes of Health Report Also Shows Rise in Low-Birth-Weight Deliveries

A long trend of falling teen pregnancy rates in the U.S. could be at an end, according to a government report released Friday.

The report shows that teen pregnancy rates edged upward from 21 births per 1,000 teenage girls in 2005 to 22 per 1,000 in 2006, the most recent year for which statistics are available.

Though small, it's the first increase in teen pregnancy rates since they began dropping from a peak in 1991.

Researchers say they're not sure why the rates went up. "It's only one year. And it might be, to use a very technical term, a blip in the data," says Edward J. Sondik, PhD, director of the National Center for Health Statistics, a CDC division that compiles national data on children's health and well-being each year.

"We feel strongly that it bears watching," Sondik says of the teen pregnancy rate.

Low Birth Weight on the Rise

The report also shows a rise in low-birth-weight deliveries in the U.S. Babies born below 5 pounds 8 ounces are at higher risk for developmental delays and many health problems.

The rate rose to 8.3% in 2006 from 8.2% the year before, according to the report.

"This means that 320,000 babies were born at a weight that jeopardizes their survival and long-term good health," Sondik says.

"This trend reflects an increase in the number of infants born prematurely, the largest category of low-birth-weight infants," Duane Alexander, MD, head of the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development at the National Institutes of Health, says in a news release.

Sondik says researchers are unsure what is driving the rise in low-birth-weight deliveries. But they suspect it's related to a trend of later childbearing by U.S. couples and a rise in multiple births that are more likely with fertility treatments.

Smoking Decline

The report also showed a drop in smoking among eighth-graders, continuing a trend researchers say is highly encouraging. Three percent of eighth-graders reported smoking in the last 30 days in 2007, down from 4% in 2006.

Smoking among eighth-graders has plummeted from as high as 10% a decade ago.

"They're making, of course the right choice in their early life," Sondik says.

Smoking rates also dropped over the last decade for 10th and 12th grades but did not go down between 2006 and 2007, Sondik says.
Source: www.webmd.com/news/20080711/teen-pregnancy-rates-edige-higher?ecd=wnl_sxr_071908

Sexual Acitivity

• Most very young teens have not had intercourse: 8 in 10 girls and 7 in 10 boys are sexually inexperienced at age 15. 1

• The likelihood of teenagers' having intercourse increases steadily with age; however, about 1 in 5 young people do not have intercourse while teenagers.2

• Most young people begin having sex in their mid-to-late teens, about 8 years before they marry; more than half of 17-year-olds have had intercourse.3

• While 93% of teenage women report that their first intercourse was voluntary, one-quarter of these young women report that it was unwanted.4

• The younger women are when they first have intercourse, the more likely they are to have had unwanted or nonvoluntary first sex--7 in 10 of those who had sex before age 13, for example.5

• Nearly two-thirds (64%) of sexually active 15-17-year-old women have partners who are within two years of their age; 29% have sexual partners who are 3-5 years older, and 7% have partners who are six or more years older.6

• Most sexually active young men have female partners close to their age: 76% of the partners of 19-year-old men are either 17 (33%) or 18 (43%); 13% are 16, and 11% are aged 13-15.7

Sex is rare among very young teenagers, but common in the later teenage years.40

% who have had sexual intercourse at different ages, 1995

Sources: 1995 National Survey of Family Growth and 1995 National Survey of Adolescent Males.

Contraceptive Use

• A sexually active teenager who does not use contraceptives has a 90% chance of becoming pregnant within one year. 8

• Teenage women's contraceptive use at first intercourse rose from 48% to 65% during the 1980s, almost entirely because of a doubling in condom use. By 1995, use at first intercourse reached 78%, with 2/3 of it condom use.9

• 9 in 10 sexually active women and their partners use a contraceptive method, although not always consistently or correctly.10

• About 1 in 6 teenage women practicing contraception combine two methods, primarily the condom and another method.11

• The method teenage women most frequently use is the pill (44%), followed by the condom (38%). About 10% rely on the injectable, 4% on withdrawal and 3% on the implant.12

• Teenagers are less likely than older women to practice contraception without interruption over the course of a year, and more likely to practice contraception sporadically or not at all.13

Sexualy Transmitted Diseases

• Every year 3 million teens--about 1 in 4 sexually experienced teens--acquire an STD.14

• In a single act of unprotected sex with an infected partner, a teenage woman has a 1% risk of acquiring HIV, a 30% risk of getting genital herpes and a 50% chance of contracting gonorrhea.15

• Chlamydia is more common among teens than among older men and women; in some settings, 10-29% of sexually active teenage women and 10% of teenage men tested for STDs have been found to have chlamydia.16

• Teens have higher rates of gonorrhea than do sexually active men and women aged 20-44.17

• In some studies, up to 15% of sexually active teenage women have been found to be infected with the human papillomavirus, many with a strain of the virus linked to cervical cancer.18

• Teenage women have a higher hospitalization rate than older women for acute pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), which is most often caused by untreated gonorrhea or chlamydia. PID can lead to infertility and ectopic pregnancy.19

Teen Pregnancy

• Each year, almost 1 million teenage women--10% of all women aged 15-19 and 19% of those who have had sexual intercourse--become pregnant.20

• The overall U.S. teenage pregnancy rate declined 17% between 1990 and 1996, from 117 pregnancies per 1,000 women aged 15-19 to 97 per 1,000.21

• 78% of teen pregnancies are unplanned, accounting for about 1/4 of all accidental pregnancies annually.22

Teen Pregnancy Outcomes 41

More than half (56%) of the 905,000 teenage pregnancies in 1996 ended in births (2/3 of which were unplanned).

• 6 in 10 teen pregnancies occur among 18-19 year-olds.23

• Teen pregnancy rates are much higher in the United States than in many other developed countries--twice as high as in England and Wales or Canada, and nine times as high as in the Netherlands or Japan.24

• Steep decreases in the pregnancy rate among sexually experienced teenagers accounted for most of the drop in the overall teenage pregnancy rate in the early-to-mid 1990s. While 20% of the decline is because of decreased sexual activity, 80% is due to more effective contraceptive practice.25


• 13% of all U.S. births are to teens.26

• The fathers of babies born to teenage mothers are likely to be older than the women: About 1 in 5 infants born to unmarried minors are fathered by men 5 or more years older than the mother.27

• 78% of births to teens occur outside of marriage.28

• Teens now account for 31% of all nonmarital births, down from 50% in 1970.29

• 1/4 of teenage mothers have a second child within 2 years of their first.30

Teen Mothers and Their Children

• Teens who give birth are much more likely to come from poor or low-income families (83%) than are teens who have abortions (61%) or teens in general (38%).31

• 7 in 10 teen mothers complete high school, but they are less likely than women who delay childbearing to go on to college.32

• In part because most teen mothers come from disadvantaged backgrounds, 28% of them are poor while in their 20s and early 30s; only 7% of women who first give birth after adolescence are poor at those ages.33

• 1/3 of pregnant teens receive inadequate prenatal care; babies born to young mothers are more likely to be low-birth-weight, to have childhood health problems and to be hospitalized than are those born to older mothers.34


• Nearly 4 in 10 teen pregnancies (excluding those ending in miscarriages) are terminated by abortion. There were about 274,000 abortions among teens in 1996.35

• Since 1980, abortion rates among sexually experienced teens have declined steadily, because fewer teens are becoming pregnant, and in recent years, fewer pregnant teens have chosen to have an abortion.36

• The reasons most often given by teens for choosing to have an abortion are being concerned about how having a baby would change their lives, feeling that they are not mature enough to have a child and having financial problems.37

• 29 states currently have mandatory parental involvement laws in effect for a minor seeking an abortion: AL, AR, DE, GA, ID, IN, IO, KS, KY, LA, MD, MA, MI, MN, MS, MO, NE, NC, ND, OH, PA, RI, SC, SD, UT, VA, WV, WI and WY.38

• 61% of minors who have abortions do so with at least one parent's knowledge; 45% of parents are told by their daughter. The great majority of parents support their daughter's decision to have an abortion.39

Sources The data in this fact sheet are the most current available. Most of the data are from research conducted by The Alan Guttmacher Institute (AGI) or published in the peer-reviewed journal Family Planning Perspectives and the 1994 AGI report Sex and America's Teenagers. Additional sources include the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Center for Health Statistics.


Sexual Activity

1. Singh S and Darroch JE, Trends in sexual activity among adolescent American women: 1982- 1995, Family Planning Perspectives, 1999, 31(5): 211- 219; special tabulations by The Alan Guttmacher Institute (AGI) of data from the 1995 National Survey of Family Growth; and Sonenstein FL et al., Involving Males in Preventing Teen Pregnancy: A Guide for Program Planners, Washington, DC: The Urban Institute, 1997, p. 12.

2. Ibid.

3. AGI, Sex and America's Teenagers, New York: AGI, 1994, pp. 19-20.

4. Moore KA et al., A Statistical Portrait of Adolescent Sex, Contraception, and Childbearing, Washington, DC: National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy, 1998, p. 11.

5. Ibid.

6. Darroch JE, Landry DJ and Oslak S, Age differences between sexual partners in the United States, Family Planning Perspectives, 1999, 31(4):160- 167, Table 1.

7. Sonenstein FL et al., 1997, op. cit. (see reference 1), p. 18.

Contraceptive Use

8. Harlap S, Kost K and Forrest JD, Preventing Pregnancy, Protecting Health: A New Look at Birth Control Choices in the United States, New York: AGI, 1991, Figure 5.4, p. 36.

9. AGI, 1994, op. cit. (see reference 3), Figure 22, p. 33; and Moore KA et al., 1998, op. cit. (see reference 4), p. 23.

10. Piccinino LJ and Mosher WD, Trends in contraceptive use in the United States: 1982-1995, Family Planning Perspectives, 1998, 30(1):4-10 & 46, Table 1; and Moore KA et al., 1998, op. cit. (see reference 4), p. 25.

11. Piccinino LJ and Mosher WD, 1998, op. cit. (see reference 10), Table 8.

12. Special tabulations by The Alan Guttmacher Institute of Ibid, Table 5 and of data from the 1995 National Survey of Family Growth.

13. Glei DA, Measuring contraceptive use patterns among teenage and adult women, Family Planning Perspectives, 1999, 31(2):73- 80, Tables 1 and 2.

Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs)

14. AGI, 1994, op. cit. (see reference 3), p. 38.

15. Ibid., p. 31.

16. Donovan P, Testing Positive: Sexually Transmitted Disease and the Public Health Response, New York: AGI, 1993, p. 24.

17. Ibid.

18. Ibid., pp. 24-25.

19. Ibid., p. 24.

Teen Pregnancy

20. AGI, Teenage pregnancy: overall trends and state-by-state information, New York: AGI, 1999, Table 1; and Henshaw SK, U.S. Teenage pregnancy statistics with comparative statistics for women aged 20- 24, New York: AGI, 1999, p. 5.

21. Ibid.

22. Henshaw SK, Unintended pregnancy in the United States, Family Planning Perspectives, 1998, 30(1):24-29 & 46, Table 1.

23. Henshaw SK, 1999, op. cit. (see reference 20).

24. AGI, 1994, op. cit. (see reference 3), Figure 55, p. 76.

25. AGI, U.S. teenage pregnancy rate drops another 4% between 1995 and 1996, news release, New York: AGI, April 29, 1999.


26. Ventura SJ et al., Births: final data for 1997, National Vital Statistics Report, 1997, Vol. 47, No. 18, Table 2.

27. Lindberg LD et al., Age differences between minors who give birth and their adult partners, Family Planning Perspectives, 1997, 29(2):61-66.

28. Ventura SJ et al., 1997, op. cit. (see reference 26), Table 2.

29. Ibid., Table C; and National Center for Health Statistics, Vital Statistics of the United States, 1970: Vol. 1--Natality, Rockville, MD: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1975.

30. Kalmuss DS and Namerow PB, Subsequent childbearing among teenage mothers: the determinants of a closely spaced second birth, Family Planning Perspectives, 1994, 26(4): 149-153 & 159.

Teen Mothers And Their Children

31. AGI, 1994, op. cit. (see reference 3), p. 58.

32. Ibid., p. 59.

33. Ibid., p. 61.

34. Ibid., p. 62.


35. AGI, 1999, op. cit. (see reference 20).

36. Ibid.

37. Torres A and Forrest JD, Why do women have abortions? Family Planning Perspectives, 1988, 20(4):169-176, Table 1.

38. AGI, The status of major abortion-related policies in the states: state laws, regulations and court decisions as of July 1999, Washington, DC: AGI, 1999.

39. Henshaw SK and Kost K, Parental involvement in minors' abortion decisions, Family Planning Perspectives, 1992, 24(5):196-207 & 213.

40. CHART 1--Sources: reference 1.

41. CHART 2--Source: Henshaw SK, (reference 20), Table 1.

Source: www.agi-usa.org/pubs/fb_teen_sex.html  


Many Teen Boys View Pregnancy as Inevitable

More than half of sexually active teenage boys don't plan on getting someone pregnant but believe it's likely to happen anyway.
Source: my.webmd.com/content/article/111/109956.htm
(See also
Teenage Attitudes Towards Fatherhood Revealed in New Report)

Birth Control: What You Need to Know

Before you consider having sex, you need to know how to protect yourself. Read this article for teens about birth control and find out just how effective some methods are - and others aren't.
Source: www.kidshealth.org/teen/sexual_health/contraception/contraception.html

Having a Healthy Pregnancy

If you're a pregnant teen, you're not alone - in fact, about half a million adolescents give birth each year. The most important thing you can do is to take good care of yourself so that you and your baby will be healthy and safe.
Source: www.kidshealth.org/teen/sexual_health/girls/pregnancy.html

UK Lags Behind US in Teenage Births

The UK's embarrassment over sex helps explain the failure to control the high level of births among teenagers, according to a United Nations report which says the US is the only developed nation with a higher proportion of teenage mothers than the UK. Both are failing to prepare young people for the world they are growing up in, with its increasing number of sexual images in the media.
Source: The Guardian

National Day to Prevent Teen Pregnancy Journalism Contest!

Students, enter now! The New York Times, Learning Network and the National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy announce the launch of a new contest that calls on students to write news articles, feature stories, and editorials about teen pregnancy.
Source: www.teenwire.com/warehous/articles/wh_20020410p139.asp

Community Initiatives Can Lower Adolescent Pregnancy Rates

Community-wide initiatives, including sex education in 7th and 8th grade, can reduce the incidence of teen pregnancy, according to the results of a study published in the April issue of Health Education and Behavior.
Source: www.intelihealth.com/IH/ihtIH/WSIHW000/8799/22002/347893.html

How to tell your parents you’re pregnant or you made someone pregnant

Telling your parents you are pregnant is one of the hardest things you will do. You may feel scared, ashamed, embarrassed, nervous, anxious, or depressed.

1. Stay calm

2. Write a letter if you need to

3. Make a plan beforehand

4. If you plan to continue the pregnancy, be specific about the future. Explain how you’ll finish school, provide for the baby, etc.

5. Bring a supportive friend or relative along

6. Tell them first--don’t let them hear it somewhere else

7. If they freak out, leave for a bit and come back later. Hopefully they will have calmed down a little.

North Carolina Paying Teenage Girls Not to Procreate

A dollar a day is the going rate for not getting pregnant at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, where teen girls between the ages of 12 and 18 can enroll in the College Bound Sisters program. The program's mission is to keep young girls in school rather than Babies "R" Us by paying them $365 a year.

As part of the baby-free program, girls attend weekly meetings where they learn about abstinence and contraceptives. At the end of each week, $7 is put into a fund that's off-limits until they go to college.

To participate, girls must have never been pregnant, currently attend school, have a desire to go to college, and have a sister that gave birth before age 18. The program is currently at its max capacity of 24 girls.

Not surprisingly, some skeptics aren't entirely comfortable with the idea. "It makes me a bit uneasy," says Bill Albert, chief program officer at the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy. "It's hard to pay people to do something we think they should be doing regardless. It would be like if you didn't want young people to experiment with marijuana, you'd pay them not to do it."

Still, Albert admits with costs of teen pregnancies reaching $9 billion annually, paying teens $365 to stay baby-free seems like a "modest investment -- especially if the program works."

And Dr. Hazel Brown, co-director of College Bound Sisters, says it is. Some grads of the program have saved upwards of $3,000 for college. "We want to give them something to work toward," Brown says. "If someone believes in you, there's no end to what a lot of people can accomplish."
Source: www.lemondrop.com/2009/06/26/north-carolina-paying-girls-not-to-procreate?icid=main|htmlws-main|dl3|link6|http%3A%2F%2Fwww.lemondrop.com%2F2009%2F06%2F26%2Fnorth-carolina-paying-girls-not-to-procreate

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