Author(s): Radhika Gollapudi1, Jagadeeshwari Sistla2
Pregnancy though is a physiological event in a woman’s life, it has its own associated complications. In teenage pregnancies, the physical and emotional state of stress coupled with biological immaturity leads to adverse effect both on the health of the mother and the foetus.
This study is a clinical prospective study analysing the demographics, maternal health issues and the foetal outcome in teenage pregnancies. The study was conducted over a period of one year at a government tertiary care center. Pregnant women in the age group of 13-19 years who delivered during the study period were included in the study group. All pregnant women over 20 years of age who delivered during the same period were taken as control group. Women who had medical disorders complicating pregnancy were excluded from the study. Anaemia, pregnancy induced hypertension, antepartum haemorrhage and mode of delivery were the maternal outcomes that were noted. Intrauterine growth retardation, prematurity, low birth weight, APGAR score were analysed with respect to the foetus.
In this study, the total number of pregnant women who delivered during the study period were 4782, 536 were teenage mothers, constituting 11.2% of the total pregnancies. Of the 536 teenage mothers, 69.78% belonged to the rural areas and 71.64% were found to have inadequate antenatal visits to the hospital. The mean age of teenage pregnancy was 17.18 years. Incidence of anaemia was 44.2% in comparison, the control group had an incidence of 33.02%. In our study, incidence of Pregnancy induced hypertension was 18.64% in teenage mothers and 10.6% in non-teenage mothers. The incidence of Antepartum Haemorrhage in our study was 8.94% in teenage mothers. Incidence of lower segment caesarean section was 22.76% in the teenage group as compared to 14.57% in the non-teenage group. In our study, 13.05% of teenage mothers had preterm deliveries as compared to 6.40% of non-teenage mothers. Incidence of IUGR was 14.18% in teenage mothers and 8.61% in non-teenage mothers. Similarly, low birth weight babies were found to be born to 47.34% of teenage mothers compared to 30% in non-teenage mothers. In our study, 12.85% of neonates born to teenage mothers were found to have varying grades of asphyxia based on APGAR score taken at one and five minutes.
Illiteracy leading to lack of knowledge about contraceptive measures and prevalent social customs contribute to an increased incidence of teenage pregnancies in third world countries. This coupled with poor access to health care system leading to inadequate antenatal care contribute to an adverse maternal and foetal outcome. Social awareness about the adverse effects of early marriage and teenage pregnancy and importance of antenatal visits during such high risk pregnancies can minimise the complications occurring in the mother and the foetus.