Adolescent pregnancy

Alternative Names

Teenage pregnancy; Pregnancy – teenage

Definition of Adolescent pregnancy

Adolescent pregnancy is pregnancy in girls age 19 or younger.

Causes, incidence, and risk factors

The rate of adolescent pregnancy and the birth rate for adolescents have generally declined since reaching an all-time high in 1990, mostly due to the increased use of condoms.


Pregnancy symptoms include:

Signs and tests

The adolescent may or may not admit to being involved sexually. If the teen is pregnant, there are usually weight changes (usually a gain, but there may be a loss if nausea and vomiting are significant). Examination may show increased abdominal girth, and the health care provider may be able to feel the fundus (the top of the enlarged uterus).


All options made available to the pregnant teen should be considered carefully, including abortion, adoption, and raising the child with community or family support. Discussion with the teen may require several visits with a health care provider to explain all options in a non-judgmental manner and involve the parents or the father of the baby as appropriate.

Expectations (prognosis)

Having her first child during adolescence makes a woman more likely to have more children overall. Teen mothers are about 2 years behind their age group in completing their education. Women who have a baby during their teen years are more likely to live in poverty.


Linda J. Vorvick, MD, Medical Director, MEDEX Northwest Division of Physician Assistant Studies, University of Washington School of Medicine; and Susan Storck, MD, FACOG, Chief, Eastside Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Group Health Cooperative of Puget Sound, Redmond, Washington; Clinical Teaching Faculty, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Washington School of Medicine. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc. – 9/2/2009

Ultrasound in pregnancy
Adolescent pregnancy
Ultrasound, normal fetus - abdomen measurements
Ultrasound, normal fetus - arm and legs
Ultrasound, normal placenta - Braxton Hicks
Ultrasound, normal fetus - face
Ultrasound, normal fetus - femur measurement
Ultrasound, normal fetus - foot
Ultrasound, normal fetus - head measurements
Ultrasound, normal fetus - heartbeat
Ultrasound, normal fetus - heartbeat
Ultrasound, normal fetus - arms and legs
Ultrasound, normal relaxed placenta
Ultrasound, normal fetus - profile view
Ultrasound, normal fetus - spine and ribs
Ultrasound, color - normal umbilical cord
Ultrasound, normal fetus - ventricles of brain

ADAM Medical Encyclopedia

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