A Properly Written Research Paper About Teenage Pregnancy
Teenage pregnancy actually means pregnancy in adolescence or females between 13 to 19 years of age. It is also possible for a female to get pregnant after attaining puberty which may be around 11 - 12 years. WHO says “About 16 million girls aged 15 to 19 and some 1 million girls less than 15 years of age give birth every year—most in low- and middle-income countries”.
There can be many causes of teenage pregnancy.
- Peer pressure
- Lack of knowledge
- Rape & sexual abuse
- Social customs
To fit in into a group or to prove how ‘cool’ they are to their friends, teenagers often indulge in sex. Often the absence of parents in their life also results in over dependence on friends, resulting in casual sex. Most often they have sex without adequate protection.
Teenagers without proper education and knowledge about sex can get pregnant. They also might get wrong information from different sources and not be aware of the dangers of underage pregnancy.
This accounts for more than 50% of all teenage pregnancies. Forced sex is most of the times unprotected and teenage girls might not report abuse due to inhibition and fear.
In many developing countries girls are married off early. Due to lack of proper education and knowledge they become pregnant.
The health concerns related to teenage pregnancy are many.
- Sepsis and other pregnancy related complications are the biggest cause of death in girls aged between 15 and 19 years, according to WHO.
- WHO estimates that “Every year, some 3 million girls aged 15 to 19 undergo unsafe abortions”. The exact numbers of successful operations are not available. The majority of these operations are performed under unhygienic conditions and by untrained people, resulting in complications or death.
- Unprotected sex can cause and spread STD and HIV/AIDS.
- The baby of an adolescent mother is more susceptible to infections, diseases and death than babies of mature adult females.
- An adolescent mother is less equipped to take care of her baby, both physically and emotionally.
Apart from death and health issues, teenage pregnancy also has serious socio-economic consequences. A pregnant teenager has to drop out of school or college due to health reasons. Her studies suffer and she has to carry on looking after her child with less skills and qualification to get a good job. Very few teenage mothers can return to school to complete their education.
Recommendations for countries
In 2011, WHO along with the UN Population Fund (UNFPA) setup a guideline on “Preventing early pregnancies and reducing poor reproductive outcomes”. The guideline recommended actions to meet 6 objectives.
- Reduce the number of marriages before the girl turns 18
- Reduce the number of pregnancy before the girl turns 20
- Encourage the use of contraception in adolescents
- Reduce coerced sex among adolescents
- Reduce unsafe abortion among adolescents
- Increase knowledge and skills for antenatal, childbirth and postnatal care in adolescents
Teenage pregnancy rate in USA has come down by 9% in 2017. It remains to be seen how much these recommendations have affected worldwide before taking the next course of action.