Main Article Content

Comparison of perinatal and obstetrics outcomes among early adolescents, late adolescents and adult pregnant women from rural South Africa.

M Hoque
S Hoque


Objectives: Adolescent pregnancies are known to be associated with increased risk of adverse outcomes. The objectives were to calculate the incidences of the obstetric and perinatal complications at the time of delivery of early adolescent and late adolescent mothers and then compare the same with adult pregnant mothers.
Methods: A retrospective comparative study was conducted by targeting women delivered at Empangeni hospital. Mothers aged from 13-15 years were deemed as early adolescents, mothers aged from 16 – 18 years old were deemed as late adolescents and mothers aged from 19 – 21 years considered as adult pregnant mothers and were used as control groups in regards to perinatal and obstetric complications.
Results: Anaemia in pregnancy was considerably high among the early adolescent pregnant mothers (23%) compared to older adolescent (15%) and adult pregnant mothers (14%). Other conditions such as pregnancy induced hypertension, eclampsia, and diabetes were not notably different among the groups. Early adolescents mothers were twice (OR = 2.022, 95% CI: 1.226 – 3.337) as likely to be anaemic during pregnancy compared to adult mothers. Low birth weight delivery, FSB and MSB rates among the groups were significantly different (p>0.05).
Conclusions: Early adolescent pregnancies did not show any extra risks of obstetrics and pregnancy outcomes but socioeconomic problems may still exist. Thus to delay early conception with a view to let the young adolescent South African girls to improve their socioeconomic conditions appropriate strategies should be devised without any further delay.