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A profile of teenage pregnancy in Spain
Date:5/25/2010

The effective use of contraception once becoming sexually active is the best way to avoid unwanted pregnancy during adolescence. This is just one of the conclusions of a study by the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC) and the Universidad Complutense in Madrid which additionally reveals that using no contraception or using it well after starting sexual relations increases up to six times the risk for teen pregnancy. In addition, the use of ineffective contraception (methods other than condoms, intrauterine contraceptive device [IUDs], diaphragms, or hormonal methods) quadrupled the risk.

These two conclusions are reflected in the study Teenage motherhood in Spain, led by CSIC researcher Margarita Delgado. Research was based on a survey conducted by the spanish Sociological Research Center on 9,700 women over the age of fifteen and even covered generations of women born before 1931. The study has been funded by the Spanish Contraception Foundation.

The research has enabled the authors to create a profile of teenage mothers in Spain: young women who become mothers early tend to emancipate and to be in romantic relationships earlier than their peers since pregnancy is a trigger for such events. Also, young mothers end their formal education earlier, start their first job later and rarely achieve stable employment.

The preliminary results of the study indicate how, in a period of 50 years, the median age of the onset of sexual relations among residents in Spain has dropped from about 25 years old to around 18.

Research shows examples of this trend: less than a quarter of Spanish women born before 1951 had sexual intercourse for the first time before turning 20 years old. In contrast, for those born between 1976 and 1980 the percentage rises to 73% and up to 86% in the case of those born between 1981 and 1985.

Contraceptive Use

The gradual drop in age of the onset of sexual activity has been acco
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Contact: CSIC Press Office
g.prensa@csic.es
34-915-681-475
CSIC, Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Cientficas
Source:Eurekalert

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