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Adolescent pregnancy

31 January 2020

Key facts

  • Approximately 12 million girls aged 15–19 years and at least 777,000 girls under 15 years give birth each year in developing regions. (1) (2)
  • At least 10 million unintended pregnancies occur each year among adolescent girls aged 15–19 years in the developing world. (1)
  • Complications during pregnancy and childbirth are the leading cause of death for 15–19-year-old girls globally. (3)
  • Of the estimated 5.6 million abortions that occur each year among adolescent girls aged 15–19 years, 3.9 million are unsafe, contributing to maternal mortality, morbidity and lasting health problems.(1)
  • Adolescent mothers (ages 10–19 years) face higher risks of eclampsia, puerperal endometritis, and systemic infections than women aged 20 to 24 years, and babies of adolescent mothers face higher risks of low birth weight, preterm delivery and severe neonatal conditions. (4)
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