Teenage pregnancy is one of modern society’s rising and alarming problems and is considered as a social stigma and can create a harmful effect on the teens’ life.
What is teenage pregnancy?
Teenage pregnancy, also known as adolescent pregnancy is defined as a pregnancy in a teenage girl usually within the age group of 13 to 19. It is a pregnancy that occurs in females under the age of 20.
It is an unintended pregnancy, that occurs during the adolescence period among females who engage in sexual activity and become pregnant between the age of 13 to 19 years.
Teenage pregnancy contributes to maternal mortality and morbidity. It can risk the life of an adolescent.
Who is at the risk of teenage pregnancy?
Some of the risk factors for teenage pregnancy include-
- Teenagers with bad company
- Females belong to low socio economic background
- Broken families
- Poor knowledge and access to contraceptives
- Poor attendance and performance at school
- Presence of any family history of teenage pregnancies
- Occurrence of sexual abuse in childhood
- Low self esteem in teenagers
- Intake of drugs and alcohol have severe impact on the functioning of brain, leads to unprotected and unsafe sexual activity
- Teenagers who are deprived of love and affection from their parents, try to get from their peer group
- Another important cause behind teenage pregnancy is peer pressure. Females are forced by their male partner to engage in sexual activity
- Teenagers having lack of sexual knowledge
- Teenagers are influenced by media and social networks which cause pregnancy in them.
What are the effects of teenage pregnancy?
The effects of teenage pregnancy on society include-
- Girl with teenage pregnancy suffers a lot due to a lack of social support from the family which may lead to depression, suicidal ideas and attempts.
- Some teenage mothers engage in substance abuse to get rid of humiliation.
- A teen may have fear about having and rearing a baby and worries about the future of both.
- Many medical complications may arise with teenage pregnancy which affects the health of the mother as well as her baby. Medical complications like high blood pressure, prematurity and low birth weight in the baby, anaemia in the mother and respiratory problems for the baby may occur.
- When a female gets pregnant during her educational period leads to dropping out of schools and colleges because of fear of taunts, humiliation from friends which in turn leads to educational dropouts and illiteracy.
- A teenage mother may face problems like disrespect from family and friends, not getting a good job and emotional trauma.
- Lack of financial support creates difficulty in meeting the basic needs of the baby.
- A teenage mother may neglect the baby and fails to pay attention due to her internal conflicts related to teenage delivery and lack of knowledge regarding the rearing of the baby.
- In some conditions, a teenager comes to know that she is pregnant, she runs away from home for fear of being humiliated.
How to prevent teenage pregnancy?
The only way to prevent teenage pregnancy is not to have sexual intercourse. However, there are certain methods to prevent pregnancy in sexually active teenagers.
There are many teenage pregnancy prevention programs like-
- Provision of sex education to teenagers.
- Providing abstinence education program.
- Providing information about birth control to teenagers help them to understand the sexual limits and avoid such situations where they might have unprotected sex and get pregnant.
- Offering peer counselling where they can share their opinions more comfortably, discuss their problems and find more appropriate solutions to the problem.
- Teaching the teenagers through knowledge-based programmes about their bodies.
If you get pregnant during your adolescence period, don’t get worried and panic. Speak directly to your family. The family is only the one who can help you to come out of it.
In the above post, we discussed teenage pregnancy, its risk factors, effects and prevention of teenage pregnancy.