Alternate Names : Teenage pregnancy, Pregnancy – teenage
Adolescent pregnancy is pregnancy in girls age 19 or younger.
Overview, Causes, & 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.
Adolescent pregnancy is a complex issue with many reasons for concern. Younger adolescents (12 – 14 years old) are more likely to have unplanned sexual intercourse and more likely to be coerced into sex. Adolescents 18 – 19 years old are technically adults, and half of adolescent pregnancies occur in this age group.
Risk factors for adolescent pregnancy include:
* Younger age
* Poor school performance
* Economic disadvantage
* Single or teen parents
Pictures & Images
Ultrasound in pregnancy
The ultrasound has become a standard procedure used during pregnancy. It can demonstrate fetal growth and can detect increasing numbers of conditions in the fetus including meningomyelocele, congenital heart disease, kidney abnormalities, hydrocephalus, anencephaly, club feet, and other deformities. Ultrasound does not produce ionizing radiation and is considered a very safe procedure for both the mother and the fetus.
Clear, specific information about sexual behavior and its consequences is frequently not provided to adolescents by their families, schools and communities. The “sex education” that many receive comes from misinformed or uninformed peers.
Ultrasound, normal fetus – abdomen measurements
This is a normal fetal ultrasound performed at 19 weeks gestation. Many health care providers like to have fetal measurements to verify the size of the fetus and to look for any abnormalities. This ultrasound is of an abdominal measurement. It shows a cross-section of the abdomen, and the measurements are indicated by the cross hairs and dotted lines.
Ultrasound, normal fetus – arm and legs
This is a normal fetal ultrasound performed at 17 weeks gestation. This is the type of image pregnant mothers may see on the ultrasound screen, or that the technician may print. It shows the head on the right, and the cross hair pointing to the left ankle. The left leg and arm are visible in the center of the screen.
Ultrasound, normal placenta – Braxton Hicks
This is a normal ultrasound performed at 17 weeks gestation. It shows the placenta during a normal (Braxton Hicks) contraction. Throughout the pregnancy, the uterus periodically contracts to facilitate better blood flow through the placenta and the fetus. In this ultrasound, the placenta can be seen as the mound-shaped object in the middle of the screen. At the bottom of the image, the mother’s vertebra can be seen as a round object. When the uterus is not contracting, the placenta would appear much flatter.
Reviewed By : 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.