MUSC Women's Care

musc women's care

Adolescent Pregnancy Program

Every year, 800,000 – 900,000 adolescents younger than 19 years become pregnant.  South Carolina ranks seventh in the nation for teen pregnancies and Charleston County has the highest number of teen pregnancies in all of South Carolina.  Teens have several special needs in pregnancy.

Lack of Health Insurance

Most teens lack health insurance to cover the cost of their prenatal care.  At Cannon Place, we have financial counselors to help make sure that you obtain financial support for your prenatal care through programs such as Medicaid.

Poor Nutrition

We will help you enroll in WIC (Women, Infants, and Children) to improve nutrition for you and your baby.  Also, our doctors will go over proper nutrition with you, so you know how to have a healthy pregnancy.


About 89% of teen pregnancies are not planned.  Most teens that become pregnant were not using any contraception before the pregnancy.  At Canon Place, we will answer any questions you have regarding contraception.  There are several options available to use after you deliver, including:  abstinence (not having sex), condoms, the birth control pill, Ortho Evra Patch, Depo Provera Shot, and Nuva Ring vaginal ring.  Within one year of giving birth, one in three teen mothers will become pregnant again.

Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs)

Each year 4 million adolescents are infected with sexually transmitted diseases (STDs).  This is one fourth of all new cases of STDs.  Being an adolescent is the largest risk factor for having an STD.  STDS can cause preterm delivery, preterm rupture of membranes (breaking your water), and infections of the uterus after you deliver. We test all of our pregnant adolescents for STDs.  We also have a screening program for common vaginal infections, such as yeast and bacterial infections.  These common infections may increase the rate of preterm delivery and breaking your bag of water early.

Drug and Alcohol Use

Adolescents who use alcohol and drugs are more likely to have unplanned and unprotected sex, placing them at risk for STDs.  About half of adolescents say that the reason they did not use contraception is because they were drinking or were using drugs at the time of unprotected sex.  About 25% of adolescents say they used alcohol or drugs the last time they had sex.  Adolescents are more likely to smoke during pregnancy than older women.  Smoking significantly increases your chance of having a baby that weighs less than 5 lbs.  It also increases your risk of having a stillbirth, breaking your water early, and bleeding during pregnancy.  Using drugs in pregnancy like cocaine, crack, marijuana, or narcotics causes several problems for you and your baby.  We will work with you to stop any drug use in pregnancy.

Domestic Violence

Unfortunately, many pregnant adolescents are the victims of abuse, rape, incest, or domestic violence.  Violence is likely to increase, not decrease while you are pregnant.  If you are experiencing abuse during your pregnancy, there are options for you. Of course your privacy will be protected.

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