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One of the commonest problems faced by teens in the several nations, has been the issue of teenage pregnancy. Although, the rates of teenage pregnancy are decreasing, there are still several problems associated with the issue. As teenage pregnancy can be a huge social issue and most of them do not want a child, such pregnancies can create a negative impact on the quality of life of the teenage couple. The rise in teenage pregnancy has been due to several issues including faster onset of maturity, greater occasions of premarital sex, etc.
Besides, teenage pregnancy is usually not preferred due to several issues such as greater rates of defects in the developing child, greater amount of maternal problems, social concerns, difficulties of the mother in bringing up the child, etc. In all cases, efforts should be made to support the pregnant teenage girl rather than ignore her.
Many teenagers today don’t know how big responsibility to raise a child when they are young too.
Becoming a parent is a big responsibility that should give priority, but how can teenagers can handle this big responsibility if she was too young too? To raise a child involves a lot of patient and sacrifices which lot teens don’t have. The risk of pregnancy among teenagers is largely increasing. Some teenagers who get pregnant early may experience anxiety, depression and other emotional problem. We know that teenager’s ages of 15-19 are still young so emotion and other feelings of being teenagers might occur.
Some of the causes of early pregnancy among teenagers are lack of education especially sexual education, poverty, undergraduate, or problem with their family.
Consequence of raging hormones. Most teenagers experience sudden and hitherto unknown emotions and feelings during their early puberty. All this, coupled with a sudden sense of new-found freedom and sexuality, results in many of them giving vent to their feelings through sexual expressions and experiences. Of course, most countries stress on sex education in schools, but yet, some teenagers involve themselves in unsafe sex, which could lead to unwanted pregnancies.
Peer pressure. A lot of teenagers indulge in early sexual behavior due to peer pressure. This is due to the fact that they feel the great need to be ‘hip’ and ‘accepted’ by their circle of friends. The only way they could probably achieve that would be by having a boyfriend or girlfriend or at least by dating and indulging in sexual acts often.
Contraceptive Failure. Though there are many types and brands of contraceptives and emergency birth control pills easily available in the market, these are never a guarantee for complete safety. Only Mother Nature knows when she might want to get into action, so no form of birth control is going to be completely foolproof! (Fox, July 18,2008).
Other causes of teenage pregnancy are:
In recent years, teen pregnancy has become a serious problem in American because it has many negative effects for both mother and child, even the whole family and country. First, it intermediately influences the teen mom on both physically and mentally. As Dr Arline Geronimus said, “The teens who choose to have babies are the poorest of the poor.”(Qtd. in Lewin). While the teenage bodies are not yet done growing, it has to ‘’bounce back’’ to deal with pregnancy, which cause “reproductive organs” and other parts of body can be inhibited (How Teenage Pregnancy Affects Development). It is harder for teenage mothers to live in poverty and receive social support than their “counterparts” who do not have children.
Pregnancy also leads to low education because they usually drop out of school to take care of their babies or they can’t focus on their study while having a baby (Effect of Teen Pregnancy). It leads them to a dark future without a nice job to earn enough money and take care of their children. In addition, the teen mom usually has a “depressive disorder” because they afraid of everybody around them due to being a young mom, lacking of social support, and worrying about the future (Effect of Teen Pregnancy).
The next person who is affected a lot from teen pregnancy is the baby. Teenage mother always lose her weight during the pregnancy because of stress, which leads to low birth weight that can causes many disease for the baby such as bleeding in the brain, weak respiratory, and intestinal problems (Effects of Teenage Pregnancy). While growing up in poverty with a teen mom, these children may tend to fail in school, to be criminals, and to become teen moms likes their mother (Teen Pregnancy). Moreover, most of these children usually lack the love from a father and feel strange themselves when they see other children who have both father and mother. Finally, it also effects to the whole family and country.
Society plays a big role on how teenagers pursue their lives on a daily basis. From what they wear, how their make is, how to act “cool”, and it also has a major role on Teenage Pregnancy. As the MTV show 16 and Pregnant and Teen Mom, advocate that teenage pregnancy is okay for someone to do. “The results of our analysis indicate that exposure to ’16 and Pregnant’ was high and that it had an influence on teens’ thinking regarding birth control and abortion,” (Study: MTV’s ’16 and Pregnant’).
With the challenges that are involved, there are ways to prevent adolescent pregnancy. Sex Education and the way it is educated to students in school is a hugely controversial topic among parents and school officials. According to the CDC (center of disease and control), there is a decline in teen pregnancy and birth rates among teens age fifteen to nineteen years of age. It is not clear whether the decline is due to teens abstaining from sexual activity, or simply because sexually active teens are using safer practices by using contraception with the information they gained from sex education. Even with the decline teens do need help understanding the consequences of being a teen parent either with abstinence education, or comprehensive sex education that helps guide them to a more healthy direction for safer practices and contraception.
Since the United States is still ranked as one of the highest countries with high rates of teen pregnancy still today, and what might help reduce the rate is comprehensive sex education.
A teenage pregnancy prevention program should look into several areas that encompass teenagers including career development, education, STD’s, contraception, counseling, drug abuse, women’s health, etc. It should involve several parties including the parents, politicians, social workers, child and women groups, NGO’s, etc. The two techniques that are utilized frequently include abstinence and contraception. Studies have shown that school-based prevention program were successful in decreasing the rates of pregnancy amongst teens. Efforts should be on to include the entire society in the teenage pregnancy prevention program.
The teenage pregnancy program should also look at various issues that surround teenagers including STD’s, contraceptives, drug abuse, careers, higher education, etc. It is also important that the teenage pregnancy prevention program helps pregnancy teenage girls to quality life without any problems. They should be taught how to handle the social and family pressure that may develop resulting from unwanted pregnancy. It is important that the teenage program involve the teenagers. The US HHS and the CDC have shown a lot of interest in the teenage pregnancy programs in recent years.
Teenage pregnancy prevention programs should have a specific objectives and goals. Studies have shown that from previous teenage pregnancies that the Socio-economic life, standard of living, etc, would be very poor following teenage pregnancy. As it is one of the major public health concerns, the politicians should take up the issue on a priority basis. It is important that the teenage parents be supported rather than being ignored. The main goals of any teenage pregnancy program are to:
Many may think that in a teenage pregnancy prevention program, the issues relating to the pregnancy period need not be considered. However, this should be an area of focus, as it would help to prevent further problems (Blank, 2003).
The Government has begun to include teenage pregnancy prevention programs as one of the priority areas for the social cause. Initially, the government had a lot of problems associated with these programs. However, following a few initial hiccups, these programs have turned out to benefit the teenagers and their families in developing a fruitful life.
Teens experimenting are the leading cause in the unplanned pregnancies. As a teenager in high school ages there are a lot of peer pressures. Such as experimenting with alcohol and unprotected sexual intercourse. Drinking and the use of narcotics also largely have an impact on the judgment of the teen before the pre-pregnancy comes about. Experimenting can cause many effects on the teen and the relationships at hand, including the relationships with the baby’s mom or dad and also the parents of the teens. Another way of experimenting is the pregnancy caused in the sequel of either a long-time dating of the boyfriend or the other case of those random one night stands or hook-ups. Experimenting can be well avoided which can cause less of a chance of the unplanned pregnancy.
Another very important concern for preventing teen pregnancy is having a good guidance throughout the teenager’s teen years. The guardians of the teens play a crucial role in guiding the teen to making the right choices in his/her life. The teenager then is faced with obstacles that would normally happen to a 20-30 year old woman. Not having the proper guidance will cause the teen to find the alternatives.
For example, finding someone to be with to be cared for by in replace of a strong guidance, by the guardians in the teenager’s life. For not having the proper guidance the teenager has a higher chance of dropping out or failing out of a school, such as being a high school dropout to have time to give birth and time to raise the young child. So by becoming pregnant at a young age and not finishing your education. It definitely doesn’t sound like too much fun, now does it? The guidance in life is the most important thing throughout so this can be less of an issue.
It is then caused, in effect, to put a lot of responsibility in the teenager’s life once they find out that they are pregnant. There is 100% more responsibility in the teenager’s life. The early responsibility causes changes the teenagers overall personality. Going from being in school full time getting your education to having the responsibility to bringing a child into the world, then being alone able to possibly finish your high school education. Finishing your education in a regular 4 years of your high school years will be hard. Not even to mention the financial costs it has to have a newborn.
What makes it hard is when you need money for the simple things for the child, but you don’t have the time to get a job because you’re nursing and getting ready to bring a child into the world. So as a teenager you need a support system so that a newborn is taken care of in the safest, best place for the child. A lot of this early responsibility can be unbearable for some teens, expesically the ones that choose to get pregnant while they are still in high school.
With all of this going on in their lives it’s affecting the health risks and medical negatives a teenage pregnancy can cause. For example, there is an increased chance of mothers from ages 15-19 of birthing a child that is underweight at birth. A low birth weight will increase the chance of the newborn to have health risks. It is definitely not a great thing to have the chance of health risks in you or the child. Another way that the health problems can start is because teens might not have all the knowledge of proper behavior in knowing how to nurse the child or the proper ways during the growth of the child. Teenage adolescents tend to develop poor eating habits during pregnancy, they tend not to take the proper vitamins, and in the worst scenario the teen drinking and/ to doing drugs during the pregnancy. That is the worst that can be done; it will increase the chance greatly of the baby being born with some type of birth defect or a weak part of the baby. Now that can be the worst you can possibly do to an unborn child.
To wrap it all up, teen pregnancy is a major issue that should try to be prevented as much as it can. It causes countless, dodge able problems if the right choices are made and you have a good support system around you. It would be in the best advice to not take the chances to get pregnant as a teenager. It is not the age to get pregnant. Teens are not fully ready to become adults like the stress that follows during the pregnancy.
Teen pregnancy is not only the problem in the American, but it is also a big issue for almost of the countries on the world. Therefore, as a teenagers, students should be aware of the policy for teen pregnancy to avoid being pregnant. Parents and schools also need to support and educate teen about sex education.
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