The less number of teen pregnancies can be attributed to better contraceptives, more awareness, and increased women's ambitions. (Photo : REUTERS/Mohammad Ismail)
U.S. teen pregnancies are at the lowest levels in 36 years and the number of older American pregnancies has gone up, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The statistics point to better and more advanced contraceptive use and many women choosing to pursue careers rather than a domestic lifestyle.
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The study was based off statistics compiled from 1990-2008, which is the last year available for the data. It found that teen pregnancies are at the lowest rate since 1976, while women over 30 are having more pregnancies.
In the report's abstract it reads:
"Pregnancy rates have declined significantly for non-Hispanic white, non-Hispanic black, and Hispanic teenagers. Rates in 2008 for non-Hispanic black and Hispanic teenagers were two to three times higher than the rates for non-Hispanic white teenagers. Pregnancy rates for women in their early 20s declined to the lowest level in more than three decades, although the declines have been more modest than for teenagers. Pregnancy rates for women aged 25-29 have changed relatively little since 1990, while rates for women in their 30s and early 40s increased."
The report also attributes the differences in pregnancies between races and Hispanic origins to factors such as desired family size, the impact of public programs focusing on teen pregnancy and family planning, economic conditions, and access to health care and health insurance. These factors in turn influence the key reasons for pregnancy disparities: sexual activity; contraceptive use; and patterns of marriage, divorce, and cohabitation.
Regardless of any ethnic or socioeconomic differences, the trend is positive - teen pregnancies are down as a whole. Women who are deciding to have children later in life and want to follow other pursuits in their 20's, as more and more are choosing to, should still work with a doctor to ensure a healthy pregnancy despite the advances in medicine.