Purpose of review
To provide clinicians with a review of recent research and clinically applicable tools regarding teen pregnancy.
Teen pregnancy rates have declined but still remain a significant problem in the USA. Teen pregnancy prevention was identified by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as one of its top six priorities, which is increasing research and intervention data. Long-acting contraceptive methods are acceptable to teens and have been shown to reduce teen birth rates. Pregnant teens need special attention to counseling on pregnancy options and reducing risk during pregnancy with regular prenatal care. Postpartum teens should be encouraged and supported to breastfeed, monitored for depression, and have access to reliable contraception to avoid repeat undesired pregnancy.
This review highlights important issues for all providers caring for female adolescents and those who may encounter teen pregnancy. Foremost prevention of teen pregnancy by comprehensive sexual education and access to contraception is the priority. Educating patients and healthcare providers about safety and efficacy of long-acting reversible contraception is a good step to reducing undesired teen pregnancies. Rates of postpartum depression are greater in adolescents than in adults, and adolescent mothers need to be screened and monitored for depression. Strategies to avoid another undesired pregnancy shortly after delivery should be implemented.