Present problems and controversies concerning pregnant adolescents
Faustino R Pérez-López1, Peter Chedraui2,4, Amy S Kravitz3, Danny Salazar-Pousada2, Luis Hidalgo4
1Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Facultad de Medicina, Universidad de Zaragoza, Hospital Clínico, Zaragoza, Spain; 2High Risk Pregnancy Labor and Delivery Unit, Hospital Gineco-Obstétrico Enrique C. Sotomayor, Guayaquil, Ecuador; 3Jay Weiss Center of Social Medicine and Global Health Equity, University of Miami, FL, USA; 4Facultad de Ciencias Médicas, Universidad Católica de Guayaquil, Guayaquil, Ecuador
Abstract: Pregnancy during adolescence is a very vulnerable aspect of human reproduction. Multiple studies from around the world show the increased burden of pregnancy on adolescent females compared to their adult counterparts, with adverse outcomes for both mother and child including anemia, preterm delivery and low birth weight. Adverse obstetrical outcomes have been related to socio-economic status, physical immaturity and ongoing maternal growth, and nutritional status. Negative aspects related to pregnancy may be mitigated with an optimal health care system targeting certain areas within this specific population, such as socio-economic and family support, treatment of infections, adequate nutrition, appropriate management of labor and the implementation of intervention programs (both before and after birth). Preventing subsequent pregnancies in adolescent mothers should be a major medical and social goal. This manuscript will review updated information regarding the risks related to adolescent pregnancies.
Keywords: adolescent, pregnancy, preterm birth, low birth weight
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