Teenage pregnancy is still a problem that needs to be addressed quickly on a global scale (United Nations Population Fund, 2013).
According to the World Health Organization’s 2014 report, there are 15 consequences of teenage pregnancy, and women between the ages of 15 and 19 accounted for 11% of all births (World Health Organization, 2014).
According to the United Nations Population Fund (2013), 36.4 million women become mothers before the age of 18 and around 95% of teenage pregnancies take place in developing nations (Mkwananzi and Odimegwu).
Because no teen has the necessary skills to manage the enormous amount of stress that pregnancy brings with it, all teen pregnancies are risky.
According to the study Social Dynamics of Adolescent Fertility in Sub-Saharan Africa, all teen pregnancies are risky because all teenagers lack the necessary coping mechanisms to deal with the enormous amount of stress that pregnancy brings.
What is Teenage Pregnancy
A woman under 20 becoming pregnant is known as a teen pregnancy. Typically, it refers to teenagers in the 15–19 age range. But females as young as 10 can participate. Adolescent pregnancy or teen pregnancy are other names for it.
Since 1990, the number of births in the United States caused by teen moms has decreased gradually. Over 158,000 children were delivered to teenagers aged 15 to 19 in 2020, which is a 75% decrease from 1991.
Both the decrease in teen sexual activity and the increase in the use of birth control when they do engage in it are contributing factors in this trend.
However, compared to girls in other affluent nations, a far larger percentage of American teenagers become pregnant. Additionally, the rate of drop in teen pregnancies in the United States varies by race.
Compared to Asian American girls, the rates of teen pregnancy have decreased significantly more slowly among non-Hispanic Black girls and Native American girls
Risk of Teenage Pregnancy
There are several factors that can go wrong during teenage pregnancy which are referred to as the risk factors. These factors are:
- If a pregnancy is unplanned, the mother may not be getting the prenatal care she and her baby need or may not even be healthy enough to carry a child to term.
- Teens are often unprepared for the realities involved in parenting an infant. Often, complex relationships and financial burdens combined with balancing school and parenting are stressful and can put a newborn at risk.
- Teens who are pregnant or raising a baby have a hard time finishing school. Only 3% of teens who have a baby receive their college diploma before the age of 30.
- Teen parents are frequently single. Financial and emotional strains are common for single parents and stressed parent puts their children at risk.
- Resources are frequently needed by parents to guide them through their child’s development and well-being. Teenagers might not be aware of this kind of support.
What Can Be Done to Eradicate the Risk of Teenage Pregnancy?
- With the use of readily accessible, efficient, and simple birth control methods, teenagers can avoid getting pregnant. Many medical offices and clinics offer low-maintenance, affordable, or free birth control. The Birth Control for Teens Clinic (BC4Teens) at Nationwide Children’s Hospital offers a variety of birth control methods for young women up to the age of 25, including minimal maintenance methods like an implant that is inserted under the upper arm and can prevent pregnancy for up to three to ten years.
- Teenagers who test pregnant should be aware of their options and resources and take action right away. Teenagers may be reluctant to notify their parents or other trusted adults that they are pregnant since it can be upsetting and frightening for them. For youth who are expecting, the Pregnancy Support Guide explores pregnancy alternatives, and services, and provides answers to frequently asked questions.
- Teenagers who are expecting should immediately give up all drug, alcohol, and tobacco use. They should also consume lots of water and maintain a healthy, balanced diet.
- The teen must make a prenatal care visit as soon as feasible if the pregnancy is still going on. The Teen and Pregnant Program (TaP) at Nationwide Children’s offers professional prenatal care, education, and support to pregnant young women (up to age 21) and their families in order to improve the quality of birth. TaP equips young, expectant teens with the skills they need to have good pregnancies, deliver healthy children, and make excellent parents.
15 Consequences of Teenage Pregnancy
In this section, we examine 15 consequences of teenage pregnancy on both the unborn child, the teen
mother, and society.
- High Risk of Destitution
- Social Obligations
- Lack of Financial Support
- Medical Complications
- Low Birth Weight Baby
- Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs)
- Postpartum Anxiety and Depression
- Birth Prematurely
- Lack of Prenatal Care
- Loneliness and Isolation
- Teenage Boy Risks
- High Chances of Suicide
- Abuse of Hard Substance
- Emotional Crisis
High Risk of Destitution
The mother ends up in a low-paying profession since teenage pregnancy prevents her from pursuing higher education and obtaining fundamental qualifications.
The baby typically falls into the sole custody of the adolescent mom once the biological father leaves.
As a result, the mother is forced to live in poverty and faces the possibility of losing everything.
Teenage pregnancy increases the likelihood that both the teen parents and the child will live their whole lives in poverty, especially if they are from low socioeconomic backgrounds.
Teen moms who lack the necessary educational credentials and degrees are unable to locate acceptable professions that pay well enough to help them better their financial situation.
Teenage pregnancy stereotypes and stigmas can lead to social exclusion and discrimination, restricting chances for new parents and their kids.
A teenage mother must deal with a number of societal responsibilities, such as not having a good job and not being respected by friends and family.
Due to her early parenthood and unplanned pregnancy, the teen mother’s entire social life is destroyed, and she is forced to live with emotional pain for the rest of her life.
Due to the additional responsibility of raising a child, teenage mothers who become pregnant young are unable to continue their higher education. This can have a detrimental impact on their academic and career aspirations and contribute to a higher rate of illiteracy in society.
Teenage mothers’ education is put on hold while they are pregnant, and some even choose to drop out of high school and find a job to support themselves.
Lack of Financial Support
Teen mothers who do not receive adequate financial assistance from their parents or friends must deal with a serious financial crisis.
She has to deal with severe difficulty when trying to purchase necessities for her newborn kid, such as clothing and infant care goods.
Medical issues for the mother and her unborn child are more likely to occur when a teen gets pregnant.
Medical issues like excessive blood pressure, anemia, and preterm birth of the baby are frequently brought on by improper prenatal care.
Regular prenatal visits are recommended but may not always be feasible for teen mothers, who are at an increased risk for certain illnesses.
Additionally, teen pregnancies raise the chance of medical concerns in the baby, who may experience low birth weight, blindness, hearing, respiratory issues, and even an elevated risk of infant mortality.
Low Birth Weight Baby
Teenagers are more likely to give birth to low-birth-weight infants. Babies who are born early often weigh less than they should. That’s partly because they have less time to develop in the womb.
Low birth weight babies weigh between 3.3 and 5.5 pounds at birth. A newborn with an extremely low birth weight is under 3.3 pounds. In a hospital’s neonatal care unit, babies that small may require the use of a ventilator to assist with breathing after birth.
Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs)
STDs like chlamydia and HIV are a serious risk for teenagers who have sex while pregnant. When having sex, using a latex condom may help prevent STDs, which can harm the uterus and a developing fetus.
Postpartum Anxiety and Depression
According to the CDC, pregnant teenagers may be more susceptible to postpartum depression (depression that begins after giving birth). Girls who experience depression and sadness during or after pregnancy should be open and honest with their doctors or another person they can trust.
Healthy teen development and taking appropriate care of a baby can both be hampered by depression, but both conditions are treatable.
A teenage girl’s body is fragile and not mature enough to carry a child most times leading to premature birth. An average pregnancy lasts 40 weeks to term. Premature babies, sometimes known as “preemies,” are those that are born before 37 weeks. In some situations, drugs can stop premature labor that starts too early in the pregnancy.
In other instances, the mother or child’s health requires an early delivery of the baby. The risk of respiratory, digestive, visual, cognitive, and other issues increases with an infant’s birth time.
Lack of Prenatal Care
Teens who are pregnant run the danger of not receiving the proper prenatal care, especially if their parents don’t support them. The first few months of pregnancy are very important for prenatal care.
Prenatal care checks for medical issues in both the mother and the unborn child keeps track of the child’s development, and responds immediately to any issues that may arise.
Folic acid-containing prenatal vitamins are crucial for preventing some birth defects, such as neural tube disorders, and should be taken before becoming pregnant.
Loneliness and Isolation
Feeling terrified, alone, and alone can be a genuine concern, particularly for teenagers who believe they can’t tell their parents they are pregnant. Teenagers who are pregnant are less likely to eat healthily, exercise, or get enough sleep when they lack the support of their families or other adults.
Additionally, they are less likely to attend their scheduled prenatal checkups. It is crucial for kids to receive the prenatal care and emotional support they require to stay well at this time if they don’t already have a trustworthy adult in their life, preferably a family member.
Teenage Boy Risks
Compared to other teenage boys, teen fathers have a 30% lower likelihood of completing high school. Some would-be young dads may suffer from mental, physical, and financial strain due to concerns about their partners’ health, a lack of money, difficulties with their education, and other pressures.
High Chances of Suicide
Teenage mothers are more likely to commit suicide because depression can be brought on by social isolation, humiliation, and disgrace.
Some of the main causes of suicide among teen mothers include emotional stress, financial hardship, and social alienation.
For the young mother to be free of suicidal thoughts, she needs a strong support network.
Abuse of Hard Substance
Drugs are an effective approach to alter reality and lessen the impact. Teen moms are frequently driven to the brink by society’s cruelty.
It is not surprising that these ladies use drugs to numb the persistent negative. Some people use it as an unhealthy coping mechanism that gives them some form of escape.
According to studies, teenage drug addiction rates are directly impacted by teen pregnancies.
Due to a lack of social support from the family after becoming pregnant young, the adolescent mother may have a severe emotional crisis.
Suicide attempts and attempts to self-abort the baby are examples of bad actions that are brought on by severe emotional and mental collapse.
While receiving unfavorable comments about her pregnancy from society, the teen mother goes through a terrible case of despair.
What can be done to stop teen pregnancies?
Use of effective contraceptives (such as condoms, birth control tablets, the patch, the vaginal ring, the intrauterine device or IUD, and/or injectable birth control techniques) each time a sexual encounter is had by sexually active teens will lessen the likelihood of unintended pregnancy.
What gives rise to teen pregnancies?
About 90% of births to girls between the ages of 15 and 19 take place in early marriages when there is frequently a power imbalance, no access to contraception, and pressure on females to demonstrate their fertility. Additionally, factors like family income and the depth of a girl’s education have a role.
How old can a girl become pregnant?
When a woman ovulates for the first time, which happens around 14 days before her first menstrual cycle, she becomes fertile. Some women experience this as early as the age of eight, if not earlier. Ovulation typically starts before women are 20.
When is the ideal time to have a baby?
In that regard, the average range for the female reproductive years is between the ages of 12 and 51. In fact, a woman’s chance of getting pregnant gradually declines as she gets older.
The late 20s and early 30s are frequently regarded as the best reproductive years. There may be certain health hazards associated with pregnancy later in age.
Which 4 factors contribute to female infertility?
Why is infertility a problem? The main causes of infertility in women are issues with ovulation. Age, hormone imbalances, weight, radiation or chemical exposure, and smoking all have an effect on a woman’s ability to conceive.
Teenage pregnancy is a common occurrence in society today, especially in the Northern part of Nigeria where young girls are forced to get married and start a home.
This article has brought you 15 consequences of teenage pregnancy and in most cases can lead to death.