Pregnancy outcome in unmarried teenage nulligravidae in Singapore

Kurup, A.; Viegas, O.; Singh, K.; Ratnam, S.S.

International Journal of Gynaecology and Obstetrics the Official Organ of the International Federation of Gynaecology and Obstetrics 30(4): 305-311

1989


ISSN/ISBN: 0020-7292
PMID: 2576537
DOI: 10.1016/0020-7292(89)90815-1
Document Number: 366283
Singapore, like other newly industrialized countries, has seen a dramatic transformation in the social standards of its population in a particularly short space of time. Unfortunately, this period of development has been accompanied by an escalation in the number of pregnancies to unmarried teenage girls. This paper examines the obstetric and social implications of 150 such pregnancies in younger and older teenagers. Poor intrauterine growth in the younger teenager appears to be the most important adverse obstetric outcome in that mean birthweight was significantly reduced (2738 g compared to 3054 g; p 0.02). We believe this to be an important explanation for the 5-fold increase in perinatal mortality seen in this group of mothers. Unlike some other reports, we found no significant increase in the incidence of cephalopelvic disproportion, anemia, or pregnancy induced hypertension in these mothers. When adolescents become mothers, they tend to follow a social path of failure: they do not remain in school, they do not limit family size, establish a stable family, establish a vocation, have healthy infants, or have children who fulfill their potential. Education of the teenagers in Singapore is recommended to reduce the teenage pregnancy problem.

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