[Adolescent pregnancy prevention]

Familia. May-Aug 1992;4(2):4-5.
[Article in Spanish]


PIP: Studies by WHO and the US National Research Council have concluded that early pregnancy is associated with elevated health risks for both the mother and infant. Adolescent pregnancy is a problem that should be confronted before the end of the century in the southern hemisphere, where the large majority of the population is comprised of young people. The International Medical Advisory Group of the IPPF has identified specific functions for programs directed to adolescents. Which should contribute to social development and prepare young people to understand and cope with the physical and emotional changes of adolescence and to make responsible decisions about sexuality and reproduction. A strategy for adolescent pregnancy prevention should include specific objectives. The adolescent should acquire adequate knowledge of human sexuality as part of integrated personality development. A more effective sex education program in the formal educational system could contribute to this goal. Efforts should be made to promote postponement of intercourse until a later age. A study in Atlanta, Georgia, indicated that such programs can succeed. Contraception should be easily accessible in adolescent clinics and elsewhere. Postcoital contraception should be available for occasional use. Venezuelan laws should be reviewed and legal barriers to contraception should be eliminated. At present, Ministry of Health facilities are prohibited from offering family planning (FP) services to minors unless they have previously been pregnant. Actions to meet these objectives include reinforcing the sex education curricula of primary and secondary schools, creating adolescent centers to channel the activities of young people and provide accessible health and FP services, and creating FP centers for young people where information and reliable and low cost contraception would be available. In 1991 PLAFAM, the Association for Family Planning, reached 4662 adolescents and their parents and teachers through its Services for Adolescents program. It contracted 39 institutions, gave 64 talks in educational centers, and held 3 workshops for students. An FP center exclusively for adolescents is planned for Caracas. A survey of fertility and contraceptive usage is badly needed. PLAFAM has initiated planning and the search for funding but as yet little interest has been shown by the Ministry of Health.

Publication types

  • English Abstract

MeSH terms

  • Americas
  • Demography
  • Developing Countries
  • Education
  • Family Planning Services*
  • Fertility
  • Health Planning*
  • Latin America
  • Organization and Administration
  • Philosophy*
  • Population
  • Population Dynamics
  • Pregnancy in Adolescence*
  • Sex Education*
  • Sexual Behavior
  • South America
  • Venezuela