Unplanned Pregnancy

Options Available for Teenage Pregnancy

How to Deal With Unplanned Teenage Pregnancy

Not sure how to deal with an unplanned teenage pregnancy? You’re not alone.

Finding out that you’re unexpectedly pregnant is always scary, but it’s even more overwhelming when you’re a teenager.

Here’s what to do if you’re not sure how to deal with teenage pregnancy:

Step 1: Find support. Talk to a trusted adult or counselor. This could be a parent, an older sibling, a teacher, a medical professional, or a friend’s parent. You should never have to make teenage pregnancy choices on your own!

Knowing that someone is there to support you, no matter what you decide to do, is an important first step.

Step 2: Make sure you’re taking care of your own mental and physical health. Visit a doctor as soon as possible! They can talk to you about your teenage pregnancy options, answer questions you might have and make sure you’re in good physical health. They can also help if you’re experiencing anxiety or depression as a result of this pregnancy.

Immediately avoid anything that could harm your health (and the health of the pregnancy) like alcohol, smoking and vaping, or drugs.

Step 3: Decide which of the three options available for teenage pregnancy is right for you. This is probably the hardest choice you’ve ever had to make, but it’s something you need to decide as soon as possible before your options become limited.

Take some time to learn about your pregnancy options and reflect on what you want your future to look like. Again: There is no right or wrong choice; there’s only the choice that’s right for you! This is something that nobody but you can decide.

We’ll talk more about those options and try to answer some of the questions you may have below.

Understanding the Options Available for Teenage Pregnancy

Many people don’t understand their unplanned teenage pregnancy options. They may also harbor some myths or concerns about their options for unplanned pregnancy in high school, or they may not be sure how to access their adolescent pregnancy options.

Below is a brief overview of the three options for a pregnant teenage girl:

1. Parenting

2. Abortion

3. Adoption

It’s your responsibility to research each of your unplanned pregnancy options; however, talking to a pregnancy options counselor can help you get started.

10 Questions You Have About Unplanned Teenage Pregnancy

There are a lot of questions that people ask about unintended teenage pregnancy, from needing unplanned teenage pregnancy advice to curiosity about unwanted teenage pregnancy statistics. It can be helpful to speak with a medical professional or talk to your parents, if you feel comfortable doing that.

Here are ten common questions about unintended teenage pregnancy in the United States, and some key unplanned teenage pregnancy facts that may help you better understand adolescent unintended pregnancy:

1. “What are the options for a pregnant teenager?”

Any time someone is pregnant, even if they’re facing an unwanted teenage pregnancy, they have three teen pregnancy options to choose from:

For some, the path that’s right for them is clear. Others may be unsure. Take some time to learn more about each of the options to help determine which one is right for you.

Remember: Only you can decide what’s best in your situation. There’s no right or wrong choice. There’s only the choice that’s right for you.

2. “I’m 16 and pregnant. What are my options?”

If you’re under the age of 18 and pregnant, you might be worried that your legal status as a minor could affect your access to all three options, or that you may “get in trouble.” However, no matter what age you are, you still always have three choices available to you: Parenting, abortion or adoption.

A couple things about parental permission for minors regarding abortion and adoption:

But no matter which of the three options you choose, you’ll never get into legal trouble for being a minor and pregnant.

3. “How many teenage pregnancies are unplanned?”

Although not all teen pregnancies are unplanned, most are. In 1987, 82% of the pregnancies experienced by teenagers aged 15–19 were self-described as unintended.

Studies show that teens are taking steps to avoid pregnancy. In 2013, the U.S. teenage pregnancy rate reached its lowest level, declining 78% since 1990, and continues to trend downwards.

4. “What percentage of teens choose to raise their baby?”

There haven’t been many studies in recent years on the percentage of unplanned teenage pregnancies, other than to report that unplanned pregnancies among teens are at record lows as of 2018.

The most recent evaluation on the number of pregnant teens who chose parenting was in 1988. At that point in time, most teen girls chose parenting. 58% of them were single teen parents.

5. “What is the percentage of teens that choose abortion for their unplanned pregnancy?”

24% of all teen pregnancies end in abortion, according to a 2013 analysis. This number continues to trend downwards and is at record lows.

6. “What percentage of teens place their babies for adoption?”

There hasn’t been a study to evaluate how many teens placed a baby for adoption in response to an unplanned pregnancy since the same 1988 evaluation that analyzed the number of teens who chose to raise their baby. That study reported that less than 2% of teenagers chose adoption for their baby.

7. “Are there educational programs targeting unintended teen pregnancy in the U.S.?”

Yes. Most of these programs are within the U.S. public school system. 25 states mandate sex education in school. However, because individual districts determine the amount and type of sex education that their students receive, the level of education that teenagers have access to can vary greatly.

8. “What are the main causes of unwanted pregnancy in youth?”

The primary causes of unwanted teenage pregnancy are a lack of education and a lack of access to birth control. But other factors can vary based on location.

In developing countries, approximately 90% of births to girls aged 15-19 is due to early marriage, lack of contraceptive access and societal pressure to verify a teenage girl’s fertility.

Parental income and the extent of a teenaged girl’s education level are important factors. Girls who received less education are five times more likely to experience unwanted pregnancy in adolescence than girls with higher levels of education.

9. “What are some of the ways how an unwanted teenage pregnancy could harm your goals?”

According to studies, there are a number of common negative consequences of unplanned teenage pregnancy that can prevent teens from achieving their personal goals, including:

Most teens have dreams for themselves, both big and small. Most of us strive to achieve simple but important goals like:

All of these things can be interrupted or even permanently ended by pregnancy. You can read more unintended teenage pregnancy statistics below.

10. “What are some of the ways how to prevent unwanted teenage pregnancy?”

The simplest (and the only 100% effective) way of preventing unplanned teenage pregnancy is for teenagers to not have sex. However, more than half of U.S. teens will have had sexual intercourse by the time they turn 18, so abstinence hasn’t been a realistic solution.

There are several important things outside of abstinence that can help with preventing unwanted teenage pregnancy, including:

Unplanned Teen Pregnancy Resources and Support

Not sure what to do next? Start here:


Here are some of the resources you’ll likely need as you navigate your pregnancy and consider your options:

Unplanned Teenage Pregnancy Stories:

Some teens find comfort and clarity in reading the stories of experiences similar to their own. You may find that some stories resonate with you and remind you that you’re not alone.

Keep in mind that some of these teens chose to raise the baby, some chose abortion and some chose to place their baby for adoption. Everyone’s experiences and choices are unique — what is right for one person may or may not be what’s right for you.

Stories from teens that chose to parent:

Stories from teens that chose abortion:

Stories from teens that chose adoption:

More Unplanned Teenage Pregnancy Statistics and Facts:

The statistics of unintended pregnancies in teens can be pretty grim. But remember there is always unplanned teenage pregnancy help available. Reach out to a pregnancy counselor here.

Ready to get started? Contact an adoption agency now to get free information.

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