Teenage pregnancies and teenage motherhood are a cause for concern worldwide. From a historical point of view, teenage pregnancies are nothing new. For much of human history, it was absolutely common that girls married during their late adolescence and experienced first birth during their second decade of life. This kind of reproductive behavior was socially desired and considered as normal. Nowadays, however, the prevention of teenage pregnancies and teenage motherhood is a priority for public health in nearly all developed and increasingly in developing countries. For a long time, teenage pregnancies were associated with severe medical problems; however, most of data supporting this viewpoint have been collected some decades ago and reflect mainly the situation of per se socially disadvantaged teenage mothers. According to more recent studies, teenage pregnancies are not per se risky ones. A clear risk group are extremely young teenage mothers (younger than 15 years) who are confronted with various medical risks, such as preeclampsia, preterm labor, and small for gestational age newborns but also marked social disadvantage, such as poverty, unemployment, low educational level, and single parenting. In the present study, the prevalence and outcome of teenage pregnancies in Austria are focused on.
Part of the book: An Analysis of Contemporary Social Welfare Issues
Female reproductive senescence is characterized by the so‐called menopausal transition taking place between the ages of 40 and 60 years. The major event of menopausal transition is menopause itself, which is biomedically defined as the cessation of menstrual function and the irreversible termination of female reproductive capability. Recent human females experience a postreproductive period from about 30 years. Such a long postreproductive period is absolutely uncommon among animals. Consequently, human menopause is still an evolutionary puzzle and several theories to explain the evolutionary basis of menopause have been presented. Menopausal transition, however, is also seen as a period of increased somatic and psychic symptoms which make this phase of life quite uncomfortable for affected women. In the present study, menopause and climacteric complaints are discussed from the viewpoint of evolutionary anthropology.
Part of the book: Menopause