What are the causes of teenage pregnancy?

  • Lack of information about sexual and reproductive health and rights
  • Inadequate access to services tailored to young people
  • Family, community and social pressure to marry
  • Sexual violence
  • Child, early and forced marriage, which can be both a cause and a consequence
  • Lack of education or dropping out of school


Approximately 90% of births to girls aged 15-19 in developing countries occur within early marriage where there is often an imbalance of power, no access to contraception and pressure on girls to prove their fertility.

Factors such as parental income and the extent of a girl’s education also contribute. Girls who have received minimal education are 5 times more likely to become a mother than those with higher levels of education. Pregnant girls often drop out of school, limiting opportunities for future employment and perpetuating the cycle of poverty. In many cases, girls perceive pregnancy to be a better option than continuing their education.

In addition, the unique risks faced by girls during emergencies increase the chances of them becoming pregnant. Factors include the desire to compensate for the loss of a child, reduced access to information and contraception and increased sexual violence.