Many young girls and women are not aware of the risks of becoming pregnant at a young age.
- There is research to show that pregnant teens and young women are less likely to receive prenatal care, often seeking it only in the third trimester if at all
- As a result, these women are more likely to have premature babies and babies with low birth weight
- Risk of medical complications is greater
- The chances of still-born, pre-term births and baby deaths are much higher in pregnant teens
- Complications during pregnancy and delivery are the leading causes of death for girls aged 15 to 19
- Young people who engage in unprotected sex risk contracting sexually transmitted diseases (STD) and HIV infection
- Married adolescent girls are generally unable to negotiate condom use or to refuse sexual relations. They often marry older men with more sexual experience and this increases their risk of contracting STD and HIV/Aids