From 1990 to 2019, the birth rate among adolescents aged 15-19 in the United States dropped 73%, reaching a record low of 16.7 births per 1,000 (2). The decline in adolescent pregnancy over the past two decades is likely due to a combination of improved contraceptive use and delayed initiation of sexual activity (3). More recent declines have mainly been driven by increased use of highly effective contraceptive methods (IUDs and implants) and dual methods (4,5).
Adolescents experience a disproportionately high rate of sexually transmitted infections. This is likely due to a combination of: biological, behavioral, and cultural factors; barriers to accessing health services such as transportation, cost, and concerns about confidentiality; and peer and media influences (12).
Access to prenatal care and support from family members may be the most important factor for improving the birth outcomes for adolescent mothers (23).
Infants born at a low birth weight are more likely than infants born at a normal weight to die within the first year of life. There are many factors associated with giving birth to a low birth weight infant, such as maternal age, health, nutrition, access to prenatal care, education level and contact with alcohol, cigarette smoke and lead (24).
Note: We define late or no prenatal care as mothers 15-19 who received no prenatal care or who only received prenatal care during the 3rd trimester.
The 2019 Minnesota Student Survey was administered to public school students in grades 5, 8, 9 and 11. Sexual health questions are only asked in grades 9 and 11. Approximately 66% of 9th graders and 54% of 11th graders participated in the 2019 MSS.