Background: The number of teenage pregnancies has increased throughout the world and these pregnancies are reported in association with a higher rate of maternal and fetal complications.
Aim of the study: To evaluate the social surroundings; the results of ante-, intrapartum surveillance and perinatal outcome in adolescent pregnancies where mothers were below the age of 18.
Methods: Between 1st January, 1991 and 31st December, 1996 there were 13,131 births at our department. During this period, 209 newborns were born of 207 adolescent mothers. We compared the data of adolescent mothers with the data of all mothers who delivered in Hungary during the study period.
Results: 39 (18.6%) from 209 newborns were delivered before 37th week of gestation, and 34 (16.3%) newborns showed signs of intrauterine growth retardation (IUGR). The rate of primiparous adolescent mothers was 72.0%, 131 (63.3%) were primigravidae, and 136 (65.7%) received adequate prenatal care. Maternal complications (pregnancy induced hypertension, threatened preterm delivery, gestational diabetes and pre-eclampsia) and adverse perinatal outcome (higher rate of IUGR and perinatal mortality) were found more frequently in adolescent pregnancies.
Conclusions: As young maternal age is associated with an increased risk of unfavourable fetal outcome, teenage mothers need improved prenatal care and increased observation during labour. In addition, improvement of the social environment of adolescents and the prevention of teenage pregnancies should be recommended.