What are the Health Risks of Teenage Pregnancy?

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  • Written By: Jacob Queen
  • Edited By: Lauren Fritsky
  • Last Modified Date: 26 January 2020
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There are health risks in teenage pregnancy for both the mother and the baby. The risks can vary depending on a combination of behavioral and environmental factors. For a variety of reasons, teen mothers often fail to take as many precautions as older mothers, which increases the dangers of pregnancy. Depending on the age of the teenager involved, their bodies may also be less developed, and this can make the whole process of pregnancy more dangerous. Some of the problems that are more common in teenage pregnancy include a disorder called preeclampsia, difficulties during labor, and a tendency to give birth to low-weight infants, some of whom are also premature.

One of the main problems with teenage pregnancy is often the behavioral choices of the mother. In many cases, women who get pregnant during their teen years may be hesitant to bring their child up with their parents. As a result, they don’t get the same kind of medical care and advice that older women do, and this leads to an increase in many different problems. For example, the teen in question may not learn enough about the dangers of smoking during pregnancy, so she may continue the habit, thereby increasing the chance of many birth defects and other issues. The longer the teenager takes to reveal her pregnancy to adults, the more severe these problems tend to become.


There are some physical problems with giving birth that can happen more commonly in teenage pregnancy. These problems are especially common in younger teens who aren’t physically mature enough to give birth safely. There is an overall increase in the chance of infant mortality, and giving birth too young can present a real danger to the mother’s health and safety. Sometimes when a woman isn’t mature enough to give birth, she may also deliver prematurely, or she may give birth to a child with an especially low birth weight.

Preeclampsia is usually spotted due to an increase in blood pressure and swelling in the extremities and sometimes in the face, along with higher-than-normal levels of protein in urine samples. The condition is actually considered quite dangerous, and sometimes doctors choose to deliver babies prematurely if the condition gets severe enough. Regular high blood pressure without the other symptoms of preeclampsia is a fairly common problem in pregnancy, especially during teen pregnancy. If women develop high blood pressure while pregnant, they are considered at a higher risk for preeclampsia.



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