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and of limiting her chances of realizing her full potential by being burdened with child care when she herself is still, almost a child.If the teenager remains unmarried following a pregnancy, she risks social stigma from having an out-of-wedlock pregnancy and of having to bear its negative consequences.
Results from cumulative years of the National Demographic and Health Survey and the latest result of the 2011 Family Health Survey, shows that teenage pregnancy in the Philippines, measured as the proportion of women who have begun childbearing in their teen years, has been steadily rising over a 35-year period.
These teenage mothers are predominantly poor, reside in rural areas and have low educational attainment.
The risks follow an age gradient; they are generally higher at the younger end of the teenage years and diminish toward the latter teen years.
Teenage pregnancy carries other significant non-health risks which are specific to this stage in the life course.
The main disadvantage is possible misclassification by age if there is reason for the mother to conceal her true age.
If such a bias exists, it is likely to be higher in the younger adolescent than the older adolescent years as it may be less socially acceptable to have a birth at age 12 or 13 than at 18 or 19.Women’s age-specific fertility rates[*] follow a characteristic pattern.Soon after menarche, the fertility rate starts at a low level, peaks at ages 20-29, then declines until it stops completely following menopause.Data for the study of levels, trends, determinants and consequences of teenage pregnancy are usually derived from varied sources and using a wide range of data collection methods.Studies on the consequences of early childbearing, particularly the risk of adverse outcomes normally use hospital-based records, using either prospective or retrospective designs.This is more often true in urban than in rural areas.Zabin and Kiragu (1998) in their review report a connection between age of onset of sexual activity or age at first birth and age at menarche resulting in earlier onset of childbearing for the current generation of teenagers compared with earlier cohorts.Because of the increased risks to both mother and child of too early childbearing, there is a need to understand the situation on teenage pregnancy in any country in order to design appropriate interventions.But obtaining reliable and valid data for analysis is not always easy, especially in a developing country.However, this paper observes a trend of increasing proportions of teenagers who are not poor, who have better education and are residents of urban areas, who have begun childbearing in their teens.Among the factors that could help explain this trend are the younger age at menarche, premarital sexual activity at a young age, the rise in cohabiting unions in this age group and the possible decrease in the stigma of out-of-wedlock pregnancy.