More and more often we are seeing young girls getting pregnant and having to face major struggles as a result of becoming a teen mom. Having a child brings along a large number of responsibilities that some young women may not be prepared to face. Most girls should be thinking about finishing high school and going to college, yet some may be preparing to give birth while trying to make adjustments for the future. As young girls and boys start becoming sexually active it is important to make sure they are knowledgeable about how to prevent an undesired teenage pregnancy.
In this OneHowTo article we share 5 ways to prevent a teenage pregnancy.
- Refrain from having sex
- Learn how to have safe sex
- Always use protection
- Find supportive environments
- Understand the consequences
Refrain from having sex
During adolescence love starts to grow fonder and many teenagers quickly find themselves in a relationship. Hormonal activity is at its peak and it often encourages teens to engage in sexual practices. At a young age, it is easy to be driven by quick impulses and desires without considering the consequences. This is leading to more and more teens have sex at a young age. There is actually no rush to have sex, and effectively, abstinence is a sure way to prevent a teenage pregnancy.
Learn how to have safe sex
As much as abstinence may be preferred, we know that taking a radical stance on the issue often doesn’t help. Perhaps by looking at how teenagers can be correctly informed about safe sex might be a more successful approach. Many schools impart sex education courses, which along parental advice can offer teenagers trustworthy resources to take. When these options are not viable it may worth carrying some additional research on some of the most common sex myths such as if “pulling out” is safe enough to prevent getting pregnant.
Always use protection
With the theory covered, there comes the practice. At the time of sex, it is important to always carry on some form of protection. One of the most common used forms of protection is the condom. These are sold in many convenience stores, pharmacies and doctors’ offices. Alternatively, many young girls are prescribed the birth control pill by their gynecologist as soon as they start becoming sexually active. Not all forms of protection may work the same for all people, thus it is important to follow professional advice.
Find supportive environments
One of the main reasons contributing to young girls and boys starting to have sex is peer pressure. Similarly to drinking and smoking, many teenagers feel pressured to follow their friends’ habits due to the fear of missing out or being left out. At the end of the day, you are responsible for your own decisions and for the consequences that they will create. Many of these choices are often regretted and it is important that you surround yourself with people that will support you instead of criticize your actions.
Understand the consequences
At the spark of the moment, it is easy to become oblivious to how one single decision can have ripple effects all along your life. It is a large commitment to decide to become a parent, more so when you might have not grown out of your parents yet. At a young age not many people may have gotten to experience the hardships in life and thus may fail to comprehend how a pregnancy can become a major life changing event. While many young women decide to take the morning after pill, not having to take it from the beginning may be a much safer option.
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Last update: 07 January, 2019
There are many dangers of teen pregnancy. Adolescents can experience premature births, miscarriages, infections, and vaginal or cervical tears during delivery.
Teen pregnancies are classified as high-risk pregnancies. In addition, they need special medical attention. This way, they can make sure that the mother and baby are healthy.
It’s true that good sexual education can prevent teen pregnancy to a high degree. However, when it’s too late and the young woman is pregnant, getting the right medical care can make a big difference.
Dangers of teen pregnancy
Teen pregnancies are defined as those where the mother is between 12 and 18 years old. In some extreme cases, girls get pregnant at even 10 or 11 years old.
Pregnancies within this age range are considered high risk. They can have negative health consequences for the woman and baby. In fact, there is a long list of complications that covers physical and mental problems.
Physical complications regarding teen pregnancy
Physical problems can vary depending on the age of the young pregnant woman. However, in almost all cases, they experience:
- Preterm births. In almost all cases, deliveries are before the 36th or 37th week of pregnancy.
- Urinary tract infections
- Vaginal or cervical tears during childbirth
- Often, they need a cesarean section instead of vaginal birth
- Uterine problems after birth. It might take a while to relax or return to normal.
Psychological problems in teen moms after childbirth
Teen pregnancies don’t only cause physical problems for the mother. In fact, they can also cause mental and social problems to the young women. After the baby is born, many women report:
- Rejection towards the baby. Since they’re young and don’t understand the responsibilities of motherhood, many teen moms feel resentment and frustration. In addition, they may feel guilt or shame.
- Feeling rejected socially. They also lose the natural interaction with people their age. After teen pregnancy, they have to fulfill their maternal tasks.
- Feeling continually judged by their parents or relatives. They feel that they carry a burden for their bad actions or mistakes.
“When it’s too late and the young woman is pregnant, getting the right medical care can make a big difference.”
Dangers of teen pregnancy for the fetus
Children whose mothers were teen moms may also experience health problems. This is because of the high-risk pregnancy.
For mothers under age 15, there is a risk that the child will have deformities, developmental disorders and other general health problems. In 50% of cases, babies can die in the first few weeks of life.
Since the mother’s uterus isn’t mature, most children of teen moms weigh less than what’s recommended. In addition, they may suffer from malnutrition and anemia.
During childhood and adolescence, kids whose mothers had them between ages 12 and 16 have the lowest school success rate. They generally do worse in school compared to their peers.
Preventing teen pregnancy
Sex education should be a priority in every home, today more than ever. Most schools and institutions have campaigns so kids know the consequences of starting their sexual life at a young age. In addition, it teaches about the importance of contraception.
In some Latin American countries such as Argentina, abortion is a huge debate. Meanwhile, in Mexico, reversible and long-term contraceptives are provided free of change to women who request them.
Finally, it’s important to emphasize that young women dealing with teen pregnancy need a pre-natal checkup. They also need the support and help of relatives. That way, they can guarantee that the mother and baby are healthy.
A Key Role for Health Care Providers
- What Can Be Done
- Science Behind the Issue
- Related Pages
About 43% of teens ages 15 to 19 have ever had sex.
More than 4 in 5 (86%) used birth control the last time they had sex.
Less than 5% of teens on birth control used the most effective types.
Teen childbearing can carry health, economic, and social costs for mothers and their children. Teen births in the US have declined, but still more than 273,000 infants were born to teens ages 15 to 19 in 2013. The good news is that more teens are waiting to have sex, and for sexually active teens, nearly 90% used birth control the last time they had sex. However, teens most often use condoms and birth control pills, which are less effective at preventing pregnancy when not used consistently and correctly. Intrauterine devices (IUDs) and implants, known as Long-Acting Reversible Contraception (LARC), are the most effective types of birth control for teens. LARC is safe to use, does not require taking a pill each day or doing something each time before having sex, and can prevent pregnancy for 3 to 10 years, depending on the method. Less than 1% of LARC users would become pregnant during the first year of use.
Doctors, nurses, and other health care providers can:
- Encourage teens not to have sex.
- Recognize LARC as a safe and effective choice of birth control for teens.
- Offer a broad range of birth control options to teens, including LARC, and discuss the pros and cons of each.
- Seek training in LARC insertion and removal, have supplies of LARC available, and explore funding options to cover costs.
- Remind teens that LARC by itself does not protect against sexually transmitted diseases and that condoms should also be used every time they have sex.
Few teens (ages 15 to 19) on birth control use the most effective types.
Use of Long-Acting Reversible Contraception (LARC) is low.
- Less than 5% of teens on birth control use LARC.
- Most teens use birth control pills and condoms, methods which are less effective at preventing pregnancy when not used properly.
- There are several barriers for teens who might consider LARC:
- Many teens know very little about LARC.
- Some teens mistakenly think they cannot use LARC because of their age.
- Clinics also report barriers:
- High upfront costs for supplies.
- Providers may lack awareness about the safety and effectiveness of LARC for teens.
- Providers may lack training on insertion and removal.
Providers can take steps to increase awareness and availability of LARC.
- Title X is a federal grant program supporting confidential family planning and related preventive services with priority for low-income clients and teens.*
- Title X-funded centers have used the latest clinical guidelines on LARC, trained providers on LARC insertion and removal, and secured low- or no-cost options for birth control.
- Teen use of LARC has increased from less than 1% in 2005 to 7% in 2013.
- Other state and local programs have made similar efforts.
- More teens and young women chose LARC, resulting in fewer unplanned pregnancies.
LARC use among teens ages 15-19 seeking birth control at Title X-funded centers
SOURCE: Title X Family Planning Annual Reports, United States, 2005-2013.
Last Updated: January 7, 2021 References Approved
This article was co-authored by Jennifer Butt, MD. Jennifer Butt, MD, is a board certified Obstetrician and Gynecologist operating her private practice, Upper East Side OB/GYN, in New York City, New York. She is affiliated with Lenox Hill Hospital. She earned a BA in Biological Studies from Rutgers University and an MD from Rutgers – Robert Wood Johnson Medical School. She then completed her residency in obstetrics and gynecology at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital. Dr. Butt is board certified by the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology. She is a Fellow of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and a member of the American Medical Association.
There are 16 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page.
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Being a teenager can be pretty tough. You’re experiencing a lot of changes and figuring out who you want to be. A baby can make the teen years even more complicated. Chances are, you’d like to wait until you are an independent adult to become a parent. By practicing safe sex, being informed, and having a good support system, you can avoid becoming a teen parent. Knowing the facts about safe sex is the most important thing you can do for yourself. If you’re an adult, you can also take steps to help the teen in your life avoid becoming pregnant.
More than 1 in 4 teens who gave birth were ages 15 to 17, before teens typically complete high school.
Nearly 1,700 teens ages 15 to 17 years give birth every week.
Only 1 in 4 (27%) teens ages 15 to 17 have ever had sex.
Teen births in the US have declined over the last 20 years to the lowest level ever recorded, but still more than 86,000 teens ages 15 to 17 gave birth in 2012. Giving birth during the teen years has been linked with increased medical risks and emotional, social, and financial costs to the mother and her children. Becoming a teen mom affects whether the mother finishes high school, goes to college, and the type of job she will get, especially for younger teens ages 15 to 17. More can be done to prevent younger teens from becoming pregnant, particularly in health care.
Doctors, nurses, and other health care professionals can
- Provide confidential, respectful, and culturally appropriate services that meet the needs of teen clients.
- Encourage teens who are not sexually active to continue to wait.
- Offer sexually active teens a broad range of contraceptive methods and encourage them to use the most effective methods.
- Counsel teens about the importance of condom use to prevent pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV/AIDS.
Many younger teens give birth at ages 15 to 17.
More than 1 in 4 teens who give birth are ages 15-17.
- Hispanic, non-Hispanic black and American Indian/Alaska Native teens have higher rates of teen births.
- Only 38% of teens who gave birth at age 17 or younger earned high school diplomas by their 22nd birthday versus 60% of teen who were 18 or older when they gave birth. Among teens not giving birth, 89% earned high school diplomas.
Sexually active teens need ready access to effective and affordable types of birth control.
- Long-acting reversible contraception (LARC) including intrauterine devices (IUDs) and hormonal implants are the most effective reversible methods. These methods do not require taking a pill each day or doing something each time before having sex.
- Nine in 10 (92%) younger teens ages 15 to 17 used birth control the last time they had sex, but only 1% used LARC. The most common methods used were condoms and birth control pills.
There are effective ways to prevent pregnancy among younger teens ages 15-17.
- About 8 in 10 (83%) teens did not receive sex education before they first had sex. Earlier delivery of sex education may enhance prevention efforts.
- More than 7 in 10 (76%) spoke to their parents about birth control or about not having sex. Parents play a powerful role in helping teens make healthy decisions about sex, sexuality, and relationships.
- More than half (58%) of sexually active younger teens made a reproductive health visit for birth control services in the past year. Doctors and nurses could use this opportunity to discuss advantages and disadvantages of different contraceptive methods and the importance of condom use during every sexual encounter.
Message to Teens, “Unplanned Teen Pregnancy.”
Few things can disrupt a teen’s future more than an unplanned pregnancy. All actions have consequences and having unprotected sex could lead to an unexpected pregnancy. A teenage pregnancy will affect your schooling, family life, social life and could impede your future plans and goals.
The only sure way to avoid an unplanned pregnancy is by abstaining from sex. If you do choose to be sexually active, the best way of avoiding a teen pregnancy is by using precautions such as condoms and birth control.
If you think there is a chance that you could be pregnant, it is important that you tell someone responsible, even if you are fearful of feeling shamed or judged. It is important that you act immediately, as living in denial about the pregnancy could be detrimental to your health and your baby’s health.
If You Think You Are Pregnant
The first thing you should do is verify that you are in fact pregnant. Educate yourself on the signs that could indicate a pregnancy. If you are experiencing the warning signs, talk to a trusted adult and figure out how you can get to a medical center to validate your pregnancy and receive the medical attention and advice you need.
After you are sure you are pregnant, it is imperative that you take the time to carefully think about what you want to do next. The quick fix that most teenagers often think of first is an abortion. Before you decide to go this route, be sure you consider all of the consequences that an abortion could have.
It may leave lingering feelings and emotions for a long time along with the physical toll it takes on your body. Be sure to discuss the issues associated with an abortion with a doctor, school counselor or therapist before making any rash decisions.
Teen Pregnancy Options
The second option you have is keeping the baby. There is a great deal of responsibility that comes with being a parent. In addition to the lifetime of love and attention needed to care for your child, you will also need to be prepared for the financial costs of having a child.
Diapers, food, clothing, car seats and medical bills get very expensive. Additionally, it is important to think about what the father’s role will be. You need to figure out if he plans to assist you in raising the child and what your future plans could entail. Being pregnant is a very serious thing, so please keep in mind that it is best to discuss these options with parents, guardians and counselors.
Putting your baby up for adoption is your third option. Ask questions and educate yourself on what the laws in your state say about adoptions. Also, decide how involved you would want to be in choosing the family who will raise your child. Explore all of the options that are presented to you with a parent, counselor or an adoption professional.
The best thing you can do for your mental and physical health is to not ignore your pregnancy. It will be very difficult to share the news, but you want to act quickly and receive the medical attention you will need. Explore all of your options and discuss your potential choices with loved ones and counselors before deciding on what to do.
How to prevent teen pregnancy has been a question for many years now. Statistics have been running wild trying to keep up with the teenage generation. Many people have their opinions on the subject (teen pregnancy), because teens seem to be getting pregnant all so fast these days. People fail to realize that having a baby is supposed to be a sort of privilege. Many people take having a baby as a joke. Getting pregnant and having a child involves many pros/cons. For example having a child can be harder on some people than it is on others. When having a baby there are a lot of things to worry about, for the most important part financial problems seem to be the most talked about of teen pregnancy’s. In the prevention of teen pregnancy there are many things that are helpful. For example Abstinence is a for sure factor of not getting pregnant. There are also other helpful ways to help prevent teen pregnancy, such as sex education and birth control. All of these things are essential in the helpful prevention of teen pregnancy.
Abstinence is when you give up something you desire or of pleasure to you. Abstaining from sexual activities is a great way to prevent teen pregnancy, and the risk of getting a disease. In the past years less sex and more condoms use has meant lower rates of teenage pregnancy and sexually transmitted disease. Abstinence is not a crime, as most teenagers and their peers seem to think. Most teens have sex because of their peers being sexually active. The percentage of sexually active males declined from 57.4 percent to 48.8 percent, essentially erasing the gender gap. In high school students alone the rate for being sexually active went from being 66.7 percent to 60.9 percent in the years of 1991-1997. Abstinence is very important, but the peers your child hangs around are just as important. ” The Nurture Assumption ” says that peer groups matter a lot more than parents influencing how kids turn out, because you can pass your genes, but not your values. CDC’s National Survey of Family Growth stated that teens are having less sex. CDC’s also stated that more teenagers surveyed that their closest friends were involved in some sort of sex education class, and they were not sexually active. Abstaining from sex and learning more about sex are good ways to assure your knowledge and decrease teen pregnancy.
Sex education is the study of the characteristics of being a male or a female. Such characteristics make up a person’s sexuality. Traditionally children have received information about sexuality from their parents, church, friends, their doctors, and many other people. Many young teens learn about their bodies first. They learn their body part and why they are essential for the body to keep going each day. Many people believe that sex ed. being taught in schools assures children of correct and complete information about sexuality. How sex education is taught varies greatly from on program to another, whether in school or any other program. Sex education starts in kindergarten and continues through high school. From kindergarten through 4th grade, sex ed. teaches children about their bodies and attempts to promote a whole some attitude toward the self-development process. During these years teachers attempt to correct any false ideas children may have learned about sex. In the grades 5th through 6th teachers try to prepare students for puberty. For example, the children learn about nocturnal emissions, menstruation and changes that will take place in their bodies, they also learn and study reproduction. From grades 7th through 9th most young adults interest in sex increases, so they learn more about responsibility, and boy/girl dating. In high school, students learn more about the social and psychological aspects of sexuality. Many other subject come up at this time in a teenagers life, such as marriage, abortion, homosexuality, birth control, and many other topics. Through the teenage years there are a lot of things to be learned and taught, but the most focused on is birth control as stated by John J. Burt, Ph. D., Dean, College of Health and Human Performance. Sex education is of much importance to the teenage generation.
Birth control is the control of birth or of childbearing by deliberate measures to control or prevent conception, contraception. An understanding of birth control requires some knowledge of human reproduction. About every four weeks, an egg is released by one of the two ovaries in a woman’s body. The egg then passes through a fallopian tube, and if not fertilized while in the fallopian tube, it eventually disintegrates in the uterus. The egg then passes out of the body during a women menstruation. Sexually, coming from a man millions of sperm are released into the woman’s vagina. If an egg is there sperm traveling through a woman’s fallopian tube will fertilize it fertilized by the sperm. At this point a human being develops and nine months later a child is born. Most birth control methods are made to prevent contraceptives.
The most effective contraceptive method is surgical sterilization. This is when surgery is performed so it will block the spermducts in men or the fallopian tubes in women. There are also many other kinds of contraceptive methods; they involve hormone drugs in order to prevent pregnancy. In many developing nations hormone drugs are injected into the body. These injections must be given every 90 days in order to be effective. Some of the more popular birth controls today are the pill, condoms, Norplant, and the shot. All of these forms of birth control are used to prevent teen pregnancy. Studies show that those methods are becoming effective, because the teenage pregnancy rate has dropped by 11%. Birth control is important to teenagers, and they should be used if a teen should become sexually active. Parents should remember to teach their children about birth control always, just in case a teen should become curious and decide to have sex.
In conclusion teen pregnancy has hard an effect on society, in many ways. Most teen pregnancies were not planned. CDS’s says about 65% of teen pregnancy’s were not even discussed with their sexual partners. All of the other percentage of teen pregnancy’s were not planned either, but it had been discussed with the teen’s sexual partner at some point in time. Most teens began having sex without knowing the consequences. Teenagers need to take responsibility and remember to keep safe, because there are various ways to prevent teen pregnancy, for example abstinence, sex education, and various types of birth control.
ACCORDING to the Commission on Population and Development (PopCom), there are around 1.2 million teens having babies over a 10-year period. About 30,000 of these young mothers have repeated pregnancies. Moreover, according to PopCom Undersecretary and Executive Director Juan Antonio Perez 3rd, teenage pregnancies cause P33 billion in economic losses.
Although it is incumbent upon the parents, guardians or those who exercise parental authority to properly raise their kids, all of us should exert effort in stopping teen pregnancies because, in one way or another, we are all affected by it. Teen pregnancy may happen to one’s sister, daughter, granddaughter, niece, female cousin or goddaughter.
Surely, a teenage girl who gets pregnant cannot support herself and her future baby; thus, the girl’s parents have no other choice but to provide for all the needs of their daughter and her child. What if their family is poor? How can they afford to feed and raise another human being?
Adolescent pregnancy is indeed one of the reasons why many families or communities remain impoverished.
What can we do to prevent teen pregnancies?
As clichéd as it may be, parents should guide their children. They must set rules and be strict in implementing them. They should not allow or tolerate their children to engage in any romantic relationship whatsoever until they finish college and find a stable job. The parents must have “bonding moments” with their kids to foster trust and confidence among themselves. For example, the parents may inquire about their children’s personal lives during breakfast, lunch or dinner. Also, they must attend Sunday Masses together. This will enable the children to establish their faith, lead a righteous life and be God-fearing people. Most importantly, the sanctity and the significance of marriage must be imparted by the parents to their sons and daughters.
Children spend ample time in schools, which makes the classroom the best place or avenue to discuss the consequences of early pregnancy; with our current situation now, it can be through online platforms. It is crucial, therefore, for the teachers, principals, guidance counselors and school administrators, among others, to educate students about the importance of finishing their studies. The teachers must unfailingly and untiringly inculcate in the students’ minds moral values too.
Aside from fighting Covid-19 and illegal drugs, the government must also find ways on how to prevent teen pregnancies.
Leonard Kristian Mesa Gelacio
7 Jose Lucas St., San Fermin, Cauayan City, Isabela