Teenage Pregnancy

pregnancy

pregnancy, period of time between fertilization of the ovum (conception) and birth, during which mammals carry their developing young in the uterus (see embryo). The average duration of pregnancy in humans is about 280 days, equal to 9 calendar months. After the fertilized ovum is implanted in the uterus, rapid changes occur in the reproductive organs of the mother. The uterus becomes larger and more flexible, enlargement of the breasts begins, and alteration of renal function, blood volume, and blood cell count occur. Movement of the fetus and fetal heartbeat can be detected early in pregnancy.

One test that has been used to determine pregnancy uses blood or urine samples to detect a hormone known as BhCG, found exclusively in pregnant women. Later, prenatal diagnostic tests such as alpha fetoprotein, amniocentesis, and chorionic villus sampling may be performed as screening measures for congenital defects. Ultrasound, a sonar device using high-frequency wavelengths, is used to detect defects, measure fetal heartbeat, and monitor growth of a fetus.

Complications of pregnancy include eclampsia, premature birth, and erythroblastosis fetalis (Rh incompatibility). Ectopic pregnancy, in which the fetus begins to develop outside the uterus, often in a fallopian tube, is another complication. It is often the result of scarring from a sexually transmitted disease. Smoking has been linked to low–birth weight infants; alcohol consumption during pregnancy has been linked to a group of defects called fetal alcohol syndrome.

The technology relating to pregnancy has made great advances and has created a number of ethical issues. Many women in their 40s are now able to sustain successful pregnancies, due to technological devices that carefully monitor the progress of the fetus. In vitro fertilization and other infertility treatments have allowed even postmenopausal women to give birth. The use of fertility drugs has led to a marked increase in multiple births. Abortion, in which pregnancy is terminated prior to birth, has long been a subject of heated debate, and surrogate motherhood (see surrogate mother) has also raised ethical issues in recent years.

See also amenorrhea; birth defects; midwifery.

See J. T. Queenan and C. N. Queenan, ed. A New Life (1992); C. A. Bean, Methods of Childbirth (1990);; Boston Women's Health Book Collective, Our Bodies, Ourselves for the New Century (1998).

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright© 2018, The Columbia University Press.

Teenage Pregnancy: Selected full-text books and articles

Teenage Pregnancy and Parenthood: Global Perspectives, Issues and Interventions By Helen S. Holgate; Roy Evans; Francis K.O. Yuen Routledge, 2006
System Kids: Adolescent Mothers and the Politics of Regulation By Lauren J. Silver The University of North Carolina Press, 2015
Interwoven Lives: Adolescent Mothers and Their Children By Thomas L. Whitman; John G. Borkowski; Deborah A. Keogh; Keri Weed Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 2001
Reconceiving Black Adolescent Childbearing By Elizabeth Merrick Westview Press, 2001
Adolescent Pregnancy: Policy and Prevention Services By Naomi Farber Springer Publishing Company, 2003
Keepin' It Real and Relevant: Providing a Culturally Responsive Education to Pregnant and Parenting Teens By Roxas, Kevin Multicultural Education, Vol. 15, No. 3, Spring 2008
PEER-REVIEWED PERIODICAL
Peer-reviewed publications on Questia are publications containing articles which were subject to evaluation for accuracy and substance by professional peers of the article's author(s).
Explaining Teen Childbearing and Cohabitation: Community Embeddedness and Primary Ties* By Houseknecht, Sharon K.; Lewis, Susan K Family Relations, Vol. 54, No. 5, December 2005
PEER-REVIEWED PERIODICAL
Peer-reviewed publications on Questia are publications containing articles which were subject to evaluation for accuracy and substance by professional peers of the article's author(s).
Making the Best of a Bad Situation: Material Resources and Teenage Parenthood By Mollborn, Stefanie Journal of Marriage and Family, Vol. 69, No. 1, February 2007
PEER-REVIEWED PERIODICAL
Peer-reviewed publications on Questia are publications containing articles which were subject to evaluation for accuracy and substance by professional peers of the article's author(s).
Adult Outcomes of Teen Mothers across Birth Cohorts By Driscoll, Anne K Demographic Research, Vol. 30, January-June 2014
PEER-REVIEWED PERIODICAL
Peer-reviewed publications on Questia are publications containing articles which were subject to evaluation for accuracy and substance by professional peers of the article's author(s).
Understanding Teen Mothers: A ZIP Code Analysis By Misra, Kaustav; Goggins, Kylie; Matte, Amber; Lewis, Averetta E American Economist, Vol. 59, No. 1, Spring 2014
PEER-REVIEWED PERIODICAL
Peer-reviewed publications on Questia are publications containing articles which were subject to evaluation for accuracy and substance by professional peers of the article's author(s).
Teen Fathers: Implications for School Counselors By Finch, Joyce P.; Bacon, Katherine M Michigan Journal of Counseling, Vol. 42, No. 1, Fall 2015
"Wanting to Be a Good Father": Experiences of Adolescent Fathers of Mexican Descent in a Teen Fathers Program By Parra-Cardona, José Rubén; Wampler, Richard S.; Sharp, Elizabeth A Journal of Marital and Family Therapy, Vol. 32, No. 2, April 2006
PEER-REVIEWED PERIODICAL
Peer-reviewed publications on Questia are publications containing articles which were subject to evaluation for accuracy and substance by professional peers of the article's author(s).
Just Telling It like It Is? Representations of Teenage Fatherhood in Contemporary Western Young Adult Fiction By Gill, Michelle Papers: Explorations into Children's Literature, Vol. 16, No. 1, May 2006
PEER-REVIEWED PERIODICAL
Peer-reviewed publications on Questia are publications containing articles which were subject to evaluation for accuracy and substance by professional peers of the article's author(s).
The Well-Being of Children Born to Teen Mothers By Levine, Judith A.; Emery, Clifton R.; Pollack, Harold Journal of Marriage and Family, Vol. 69, No. 1, February 2007
PEER-REVIEWED PERIODICAL
Peer-reviewed publications on Questia are publications containing articles which were subject to evaluation for accuracy and substance by professional peers of the article's author(s).
Looking for a topic idea? Use Questia's Topic Generator
Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.