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09 April 2014 : Original article  

Underage mothers in Turkey

Erdal OzerE, Mehmet Can NacarB, Ali YildirimA, Ozgur EnginyurtCD, Hasan DinF, Durmus EvcumanD

DOI: 10.12659/MSM.890341

Med Sci Monit 2014; 20:582-586

Abstract

BACKGROUND: All individuals under the age of 18 are considered as children by the Convention on the Rights of Children. Underage mothers are a pediatric-age group of children that become pregnant and give birth. It may be unfamiliar in Western countries, but in Middle-Eastern countries ruled by religious laws and old-fashioned traditions, it is common for an older man to marry a girl. The aim of this study was to describe the status of underage mothers within the framework of children’s rights and to draw attention to this issue. We presented this study to increase awareness and sensitivity, and to scrutinize and discuss these topics.

MATERIAL AND METHODS: We retrospectively investigated cases of underaged pregnant girls who applied to Forensic Science Department outpatient clinics and Obstetrics and Gynecology Department outpatient clinics of Gaziosmanpasa University Faculty of Medicine between 2003 and 2013.

RESULTS: We accessed records of 163 underage mothers (≤18 age). Mean age was 16.9±0.83 (14–18 years). Gravida and parity rates increased proportionately with increasing age. Most of our cases were 16 and 17 years of age (n: 117, 71.8%).

CONCLUSIONS: Underage motherhood is not only a medical issue; it is a multi-dimensional problem with social, economic, traditional, religious, and legal aspects.

Keywords: Adolescent, Fertility, Mothers - statistics & numerical data, Pregnancy, Pregnancy in Adolescence - statistics & numerical data, Turkey - epidemiology

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Medical Science Monitor eISSN: 1643-3750
Medical Science Monitor eISSN: 1643-3750