Prevention of adolescent pregnancy

Prevention of adolescent pregnancy
Prioritize the prevention of pregnancy among adolescents and eliminate unsafe abortion through comprehensive education on emotional development and sexuality, and timely and confidential access to good-quality information, counselling, technologies and services, including emergency oral contraception without a prescription and male and female condoms.
Priority measure number


This measure is closely associated with priority measures 11 and 12 and, in the case of safe abortion, with priority measures 40 and 42, and can thus be implemented and monitored through those measures (as in the case of unsafe abortion, provisions with respect to which are operationalized under priority measure 42). The exception is emergency contraception, which falls exclusively under this priority measure. Given that emergency contraception is rather new in the region, measurement of unmet demand may be complex and the difficulty may vary by country. In the absence of this indicator, indicators on use of emergency contraception in a reference group could be used, for example the percentage of adolescents, including those under age 15, and sexually active young people who made use of emergency contraception in a given period of risk exposure. However, a low value here could reflect lack of access to emergency contraception or widespread and efficient use of regular contraception. Indicators should be disaggregated at least by five-year age group (10-14 years, 15-19 years, 20-24 years and 25-29 years), socioeconomic category, area of residence and ethnicity.

Possible lines of action

1. The measures included in priority measures 11 and 12 relating to comprehensive sexuality education and access to sexual and reproductive health services for adolescents. 2. Legislate and create programmes to guarantee universal and timely access to emergency oral contraception for adolescent girls, including those under the age of 15 years. 3. Provide safe services for terminating pregnancy among adolescent girls and young women, consistent with relevant national legislation.

Related instruments, forums and mechanisms

Sustainable Development Goals, targets 3.7 and 5.6 (cited above under priority measure 12).

Girls, boys, adolescents and youth