Approximately 16 million girls aged 15 to the second group of children of early age years and 2. 5 million girls under age 16 years give birth in developing regions.
For some adolescents, pregnancy and childbirth are planned and wanted. In some contexts, girls may face social pressure to marry and, once married, to have children. For many adolescents, pregnancy and childbirth are neither planned nor wanted. In some situations, adolescent girls may be unable to refuse unwanted sex or resist coerced sex, which tends to be unprotected. Inequitable gender norms and social norms that condone violence against women put girls at greater risk of unintended pregnancy. Furthermore, the emotional, psychological and social needs of pregnant adolescent girls can be greater than those of other women.
Early childbearing can increase risks for newborns, as well as young mothers. Newborns born to adolescent mothers are also at greater risk of having low birth weight, with long-term potential effects. Unmarried pregnant adolescents may face stigma or rejection by parents and peers and threats of violence. Similarly, girls who become pregnant before age 18 are more likely to experience violence within marriage or a partnership.
Nationally, this can also have an economic cost, with countries losing out on the annual income that young women would have earned over their lifetimes, if they had not had early pregnancies. Reducing marriage before the age of 18 years. Creating understanding and support to reduce pregnancy before the age of 20 years. Increasing the use of contraception by adolescents at risk of unintended pregnancy. If this need was to be met, 2. Increasing use of skilled antenatal, childbirth and postnatal care among adolescents. Currently, WHO is synthesizing its recommendations on adolescent sexual and reproductive health into a Compilation Tool.
Additionally, WHO is committed to reaching the Sustainable Development Goals targets 3. Note that special tabulations were done, as source does not provide information for ages 15-19 years. Darroch J, Woog V, Bankole A, Ashford LS. Adding it up: Costs and benefits of meeting the contraceptive needs of adolescents. Girlhood, not motherhood: Preventing adolescent pregnancy. Neal S, Matthews Z, Frost M, et al. 15 years in low resource countries: a neglected issue.