Unintended pregnancy – a pregnancy that is mistimed, unplanned or unwanted – is associated with increased risks to the mother and baby, including preterm birth and low birth weight.
Further, pregnancies spaced fewer than 2 years apart put mothers and babies at increased risk of premature birth and infant mortality.
Teen mothers have higher infant mortality rates than their adult counterparts, but also face critical barriers to educational attainment and job opportunities. These challenges are compounded for those who have a second pregnancy while still in their teens.
High-quality, comprehensive and accessible reproductive health services including efficacy-based contraceptive counseling are essential to preventing unintended and teen pregnancies. Efficacy-based contraceptive counseling should be offered to all women of reproductive health age. Such counseling can help ensure that pregnancies are not mistimed and safely spaced.
Contraceptive Counseling Resources:
- Facilitator’s Guide: Reducing Unintended Pregnancy, Contraceptive Counseling Approaches for Adolescents
- CAP Birth Control Options Grid
- Contraceptive Counseling: Best Practices to Ensure Quality Communication and Enable Effective Contraceptive Use
- Structured Contraceptive Counseling Provided by the Contraceptive CHOICE Project
- Providing Quality Family Planning Services: Recommendations of CDC and the U.S. Office of Population Affairs