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Adolescent Girls with Mental Health Disorders Have Higher Risk of Pregnancy

A recent study published in the prestigious journal Pediatrics found that adolescent girls suffering from a diagnosed mental health disorder were more likely to become pregnant than those without any mental disorders. Researchers followed 4.5 million girls from 1999-2009 aged 15-19 with and without a major mental health illness.

Those girls with mental illness were three times more likely to become pregnant during adolescence than their healthy peers. Moreover, the pregnancy rate amongst this group was declining at a far slower pace than for those girls without mental health diagnoses.

Researchers say that this points out the dire need for more preventative interventions for this very vulnerable group of girls. They suggested that targeted school-based sex education programs along with greater integration of reproductive care into adolescent mental health care programs were needed to help these young women.

Overall, teen mothers are far more likely to develop postpartum depression, irrespective of their mental health status. Dr. Simone Vigod, lead author of the study concludes: “This study highlights that girls with major mental health issues are a population that needs to be paid attention to if we really want to optimize the overall health of mothers and babies, prevent transmission of mental health issues from parent to child and through the generations.”

The study can be accessed here:
http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/early/2014/02/04/peds.2013-1761.abstract

To make an appointment call us at:
Tomball Office:      281-290-8188
South Loop Office: 713-808-9781
Bryan Office:          979-383-2074
Lufkin Office:         936-229-3621