The rising proportion of repeat teenage pregnancies in those presenting for termination of pregnancy 1991-2007

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Background It is difficult to fully ascertain the number of teenagers in the United Kingdom who have more than one pregnancy before the age of 20 years. The national abortion figures represent one of the few ways one can investigate on a national scale whether there is an increase in the number of young women presenting with a repeat pregnancy. Study Design Datasheets regarding legally induced abortions carried out in England and Wales from 1991 to 2007 were downloaded from the Office of National Statistics and Department of Health websites. Age-specific data were extracted. Results Among young women less than 20 years old who present for abortion in England and Wales, those with recorded previous pregnancies have steadily risen from 1991 to 2007 both in absolute number and in proportion. The increase in the proportion of abortions that are subsequent to a previous birth was by 42% (from 0.080 to 0.115), and the increase in the proportion of abortions subsequent to a previous abortion was by 68% (from 0.081 to 0.134). Conclusions These data provide evidence that repeat teenage pregnancies are on the increase. Urgent attention is required to improve contraceptive advice and services targeted specifically at teenagers who have previously conceived.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)393-396
Number of pages4
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 2009

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