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Ned Tijdschr Geneeskd. 2003 Nov 22;147(47):2320-5.

[Teenage pregnancy, a worldwide problem].

[Article in Dutch]

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Verloskunde en Gynaecologie, Universiteit van Amsterdam, Henriƫtte Bosmansstraat 4, 1077 XH Amsterdam.


The incidence of adolescent pregnancy is highest in Sub Saharan Africa (143 per 1,000 girls aged between 15-19 years). In Europe, it is well over 20 per 1,000. In the Netherlands, the percentage of teenage pregnancies ending in abortion is high (abortion ratio 61%), but the number of abortions among teenagers is low (abortion rate 8.6 per 1,000). Differences in the number of teenage pregnancies between industrialized countries are mainly caused by the availability of effective contraception for adolescents and not by differences in sexual behaviour. The main obstetric complication is preterm birth, especially if the interval between menarche and conception is short. Labour in teenagers is generally easier. Long-term socio-economic consequences for mother and child are great, in both developing and developed countries. There is an urgent need for programmes aimed at improving contraception in adolescents, especially in developing countries.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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