Getting pregnant at a young age

    • Brief

    • A woman is able to become pregnant when she ovulates for the first time. Most often, ovulation begins before women turn 20 and in some cases as early as eight years old. Ovulation occurs about 14 days before a woman’s menstrual period.

    • Very fertile

    • A woman is very fertile when she is young and when she has ovulated for the first time (first cycle). A woman is fertile about six days each month from her first ovulation.

      Even when a woman has sex for the first time, she can become pregnant.

    • More risks for mother and baby

    • If a woman is pregnant and aged under 20 years, she is more likely to have a difficult delivery.

      The baby may be at risk of:

      • Premature birth.
      • Low birth weight (causes a higher risk of illness).
      • Severe conditions after birth.
    • Life changes when having a baby

    • If you are still young and are thinking of having a child, be aware that:

      • You will have less time for school, work and hobbies.
      • Having a child requires money to care for your child.
      • Your relationships with your partner, parents and friends may change as caring for your baby comes first.
      • You may need to look for another place to live.
    • Contraception

    • You and your partner can decide how many children you want, and when. This is called family planning. You can do this by using contraception.

    • Unintended pregnancy

    • If you are pregnant but did not plan to be, you have different options. You can ask your parents, family and friends for help. Do not feel ashamed. This can happen to anybody. You can also ask for help and advice from your healthcare provider.

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