Date of Submission
Today, teenage pregnancy is a crucial cause of apprehension in different societies globally. Teenage or adolescent pregnancies involves circumstances of pregnancies involving females below the age of twenty. Upon the commencement of their ovulations circles, any girl may become pregnant after sexual intercourse. Ovulation may come before the first menstrual circle (menarche) but often come up upon the onset of the female’s periods. In healthy women, such processes that involve ovulation usually begin at the age of 12 or 13. Once pregnant, these teenagers despite being considerably young to handle all the pregnancy-related issues as other older women. Further, there are auxiliary concerns that battle victims of underage pregnancies given that they are not sufficiently developed physically to keep up a healthy pregnancy. As evaluated here, the figure obtainable point out teenage pregnancy as a being widespread, with massive challenges to modern societies.
Teenage Pregnancies Prevalence
Taking the figures from the United States Center for Disease Control, 2016 saw a total of 229,715 new births by women aged 15–19 years (Rahman et al., 2017). That amounts to a birth rate of about 22.3 per 1,000 women in this age group. Despite this being a record low compared with historical figures, these figures are still high compared to various other destinations. The reasons attributed to such decline in teen pregnancies and birth are not yet clear. However, much evidence characteristics such decline to success in campaigns calling for abstinence by the teenagers from sexual activities (Rahman et al., 2017). Further, there has been a vast increase in the number of sexually active teen on birth control pills. Despite these, the U.S still stands out as having substantially high teenage pregnancies than other western industrialized nations. Further, there are many disparities in the racial/ethnic distribution of such pregnancies.
Today, teenagers in the united states are more likely to be pregnant than teenagers from all other developed countries globally. Compared to Canada, a teenager from the United States are two and half times more likely to be pregnant than the same age in Canada. The same girls could be about four times more predisposed to falling pregnant that others in Norway or Germany and about ten times more likely to be pregnant than a teenager in Switzerland (Rahman et al., 2017). Of the various developed countries, Russia follows the United States despite the girls in America being twenty-five percent more likely to fall pregnant than their Russian counterpart. Furthermore, the statistics comprise about forty percent decline in the teenage birth rate compared to the figures two decades ago.
Challenges and Issues of Teen Pregnancies
About four out of every five pregnancies of teenage mothers – young women between the ages of 15 and 19 – are not planned; that is, only one has been consciously designed. This figure not only reveals the situation of girls and adolescents in the region but also shows one of the most severe inequalities there is in America (Suciu et al., 2016). Further, such prevalence demonstrates how much issues and challenges are et to be addressed with regards to teenage pregnancies.
In the most recent discussions, it has primarily been established that the issue of adolescent pregnancy “is a multifactorial phenomenon,” which not only affects the health of girls and adolescents, but also modifies their life project, which affects their education and economy, as well as in their social, and cultural relationships (Kost ; Henshaw, 2016). There is a lack of information, of sexual knowledge, of decision-making counseling, there is violence, lack of access to services, and also a social, family, economic, and educational context, which are not favorable, in which we must work for its transformation. It is relevant to highlight that among the leading causes of pregnancy in children under 15 years old are sexual violence, and the family context (uses and customs), while in adolescents between 15 and 19 years old, there are usually deficiencies in information, as well as of access to counseling, reproductive and sexual health services (Kost ; Henshaw, 2016). These all work together in impacting the rates of teenage pregnancies thus a call for sufficient understanding in addressing this concern.
The development process in human beings can be compared with the growth of a tree. Once the seed germinates and faces the environment, it requires special care and protection to grow and develop. This metaphor is valid not only during childhood, but it is extensive and fundamental in adolescence, given that the treatment at this stage of life is crucial for people to develop their human potential fully. Consequently, in discussing the issues and challenges associated with teen pregnancies, it is fundamental to review some fundamental questions. How do we relate to adolescents? Do we facilitate or control its development? Asking these questions as a mother, father, sister, brother friend or health worker remains crucial in the search for alternatives that allow us to relate better with our loved ones and assume our role in the education of new generations in a better way towards protecting them from underage pregnancies (Kost ; Henshaw, 2016).
The fragility of children at birth awakens the sense of protection, and as they grow we are captivated by their tenderness, and we dedicate the highest possible attention to them. This way we are developing a full relationship, while it depends entirely on us. But as this little person begins to act with autonomy, our fears jump because we feel that something is leaving us like water between our fingers (Suciu et al., 2016). The need for independence is expressed with greater force during adolescence, representing a challenge for mothers, fathers and the entire educational community because the human being, although a system in itself, is part of a more extensive system; therefore, its behavior responds to the messages received and how it relates to its environment. That is, the setting determines the social being.
Adolescence, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), is the period of life between 10 and 19 years and involves profound changes of an organic and psychosocial nature, including the beginning of the functions of reproductive character. Teen pregnancy challenges us because when a girl gets pregnant puts her health and education at risk; her future is trapped in helplessness, insecurity, and impoverishment of their perspectives and living conditions. Children under the age of 16 are at risk of maternal death, four times higher than women between 20 and 30 years of age and the mortality rate of their newborns is approximately 50% higher (Suciu et al., 2016). In addition, every pregnant teen is also exposed to sexually transmitted infections, including HIV, because it is evident that she has had unprotected sex.
The dangers associated with teen pregnancies has occasioned a need for more research into the gap both in policy and practice that contributes to higher birther rates among teens. Among the key findings, the lack of life alternatives, the power of men over women from an early age, the lack of sexual education and services for adolescents, distrust, and lack of affection in the family, the stigmatization of sexuality and ignorance of sexual and reproductive rights have led the headlines of the debates (Barroso ; Babanto, 2016). A stigmatized and misunderstood adolescent who does not find the confidence to express her feelings, opinions, and fears in a safe environment, such as family and school should be repressed or approached by someone who pays attention and offers the affection she needs.
In daily practice, although institutions recognize the need for sex education, they do not always know the written policies, and above all, they do not know how to implement them, and they continue to act according to their own beliefs (Barroso ; Babanto, 2016). The terrain of sexuality is plagued by doubts not only for adolescents but also for adults, due to the burden of myths and taboos about sexuality and gender stereotypes that we drag. In dedicated efforts to reverse the situations and see a decline in teenage pregnancies, there is a need to assume belligerent practices for prevention, implementing with all the forces and in all areas, actions that show a change in the way of seeing and addressing the problem (Barroso ; Babanto, 2016). However, successful implementation and follow-up on such core subjects as sex education involving contraceptives and safe sexual practices remain the core challenges.
In conclusion, teenage pregnancies today are a crucial cause of apprehension in different societies globally and involves circumstances of pregnancies involving females below the age of twenty. Once pregnant, these teenagers despite being considerably young to handle all the pregnancy-related issues as other older women in addition to auxiliary concerns given that they are not sufficiently developed physically to keep up a healthy pregnancy. The number of the people affected by such pregnancies are still very high and thus a need to seek best ways of reversing the digits. To ensure success, there is a need to assume belligerent practices for prevention, implementing with all the forces and in all areas, actions that show a change in the way of seeing and addressing the problem.
Barroso, C. J. V., ; Babanto, R. R. P. (2016). Unwanted Teenage Pregnancies: Sociological Model Based on Agents. Asia Pacific Journal of Social and Behavioral Sciences, 13.
Kost, K., ; Henshaw, S. (2016). US Teenage Pregnancies, Births, and Abortions, 2010: State Trends by Age, Race, and Ethnicity (New York: Guttmacher Institute, 2014).
Rahman, A. L. F., Razmy, A. M., ; Rizath, M. M. A. A. (2017). Obstetric and Perinatal Outcomes of Teenage Pregnancies: A Cross-Sectional Study. Open Access Library Journal, 4(09), 1.
Suciu, L. M., Pasc, A. L., Cucerea, M., ; Bell, E. F. (2016). Teenage pregnancies: risk factors and associated neonatal outcomes in an eastern-European academic perinatal care center. American journal of perinatology, 33(04), 409-414.