Teenage Pregnancies: A few years wait until young adulthood is worthy of advocacy

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Sanusi, M.M
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Wolters Kluwer India Private Limited
Background: Teenage pregnancies are health problems of global importance attributed to restrictions of sexually active teenagers access to contraception. It is therefore important to study the impact of pregnancy on teenagers for better care and avert adverse pregnancy outcome. Objectives: The main objective of the study is to compare the pregnancy outcome (early pregnancy loss, preterm delivery, birth weight, live and stillbirths, and other perinatal outcomes) among teenagers (aged 15–19 years) and young adult women (aged 20–24 years). Materials and Methods: This was a comparative study of 74 teenage pregnancies and 690 young adult pregnancies managed at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital over a period of 5 years from May 1, 2008 to April 30, 2013. Results: The teenagers had more miscarriages and more preterm deliveries than young adults (P < 0.0001). Teenagers had more emergency cesarean deliveries and less spontaneous vaginal deliveries (P < 0.0001). Although teenagers had more low birth weight babies compared with young adults (33.3% vs. 22.8%), this was, however, not statistically significant (P = 0.0652). The perinatal mortality rate was 218/1000 total births among teenagers as compared to 90/1000 in young adult women, and this was statistically significant (P = 0.0049). Conclusion: Preventing teenage pregnancies or delaying pregnancy until adulthood results in a better fetomaternal outcome.
Nigeria, pregnancy outcome, teenagers versus young adults