Teenage mothers – A high risk group for new unintended pregnancies

Teenage mothers – A high risk group for new unintended


G Falk1, I Östlund1, A Magnusson2, J Schollin3, K


1Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Örebro, Sweden,

2Clinical Research Center, Örebro, Sweden, 3Department of Pediatrics, Örebro,


One of the targets for national health programs is to prevent

unintended pregnancies, especially among teenagers. It is well established that

these often leads to abortion. Preventive programs to decrease abortion rates

should identify target groups at risk for unintended pregnancies. The aim of

this study was to evaluate if young mothers under 20 years of age are such a

risk group. A retrospective cohort study was performed at Örebro University

Hospital, Sweden, including teenagers giving birth to their first child during

1996 – 2000. Data were collected from antenatal and medical records. Special

attention was paid to attendance to the postnatal visit and if a contraceptive

method was given. Data was collected at 12 months after delivery for repeat

pregnancies. A total of 250 deliveries were recorded, 70% of the mothers

attended the postnatal visit and 71% received a contraceptive method. At 12

months follow-up 9% had a legal abortion. This makes the abortion rate more than

five times as high as expected in this age group. The teenage pregnancy rate in

Sweden is low compared to other countries. However, this study shows that

teenagers giving birth are a high-risk group for legal abortion in the future.

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