Teenage pregnancy: a comparative study of teenagers choosing termination of pregnancy or antenatal care.
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A comparative study of 167 pregnant teenagers in Devon attending either antenatal booking clinics or for National Health Service (NHS) termination of pregnancy was carried out to determine differences in their characteristics, use and experience of local family planning services. Teenagers presenting for termination of pregnancy were younger and more likely to say that they had wished to avoid getting pregnant. Whether the teenager was in a stable relationship was strongly associated with the outcome of the pregnancy, with single girls being more likely to choose a termination of pregnancy. The termination of pregnancy group were also more likely to be condom users, and to have learned about their method of contraception from school rather than from health care professionals. Teenagers' frequency of contact with family planning services suggested that teenagers choosing a termination were less likely than antenatal attenders to have attended regularly. This was mainly due to differences in behaviour among teenagers attending their general practitioner (GP) for contraceptive advice: teenagers having a termination were more likely to describe their visit to their GP as embarrassing. These findings have implications for local family planning services attempting to reduce the number of unwanted teenage pregnancies.
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