Friday, April 29, 2011
Teen Pregnancy Research Project
Teenage pregnancy is formally defined as a pregnancy in a young woman
who has not reached her 20th birthday when the pregnancy ends, regardless of
whether the woman is married or is legally an adult. Pregnant teenagers face many of the same obstetrics issues as women in their 20s and 30s. However, there are additional medical concerns for mothers age 14 or younger.
In some societies, early marriage and traditional gender roles are important factors in the rate of teenage pregnancy. For example, in some sub-Saharan African countries, early pregnancy is often seen as a blessing because it is proof of the young woman's fertility. In the Indian subcontinent, early marriage and pregnancy is more common in traditional rural communities compared to the rate in cities. The lack of education on safe sex, whether it’s from parents, schools, or otherwise, is a cause of teenage pregnancy. Many teenagers are not taught about methods of birth control and how to deal with peers who pressure them into having sex before they are ready. Many pregnant teenagers do not have any cognition of the central facts of sexuality. Some teens have said to be pressured into having sex with their boyfriends at a young age, and yet no one had taught these teens how to deal with this pressure or to say "no".
Adolescents may lack knowledge of, or access to, conventional methods of preventing pregnancy, as they may be too embarrassed or frightened to seek such information. Contraception for teenagers presents a huge challenge for the clinician. In 1998, the government of the United Kingdom set a target to halve the under-18 pregnancy rate by 2010. The Teenage Pregnancy Strategy (TPS) was established to achieve this. The pregnancy rate in this group, although falling, rose slightly in 2007, to 41.7 per 1000 women. Young women often think of contraception either as 'the pill' or condoms and have little knowledge about other methods. They are heavily influenced by negative, second-hand stories about methods of contraception from their friends and the media. Prejudices are extremely difficult to overcome. Over concern about side-effects, for example weight gain and acne, often affect choice. Missing up to three pills a month is common, and in this age group the figure is likely to be higher. Restarting after the pill-free week, having to hide pills, drug interactions and difficulty getting repeat prescriptions can all lead to method failure.
Age discrepancy in relationships
According to the conservative lobbying organization Family Research Council, studies in the US indicate that age discrepancy between the teenage girls and the men who impregnate them is an important contributing factor. Teenage girls in relationships with older boys, and in particular with adult men, are more likely to become pregnant than teenage girls in relationships with boys their own age. They are also more likely to carry the baby to term rather than have an abortion
Studies have found that between 11 and 20 percent of pregnancies in teenagers are a direct result of rape, while about 60 percent of teenage mothers had unwanted sexual experiences preceding their pregnancy. Before age 15, a majority of first-intercourse experiences among females are reported to be non-voluntary; the Guttmacher Institute found that 60 percent of girls who had sex before age 15 were coerced by males who on average were six years their senior. One in five teenage fathers admitted to forcing girls to have sex with them.
A study conducted in 2006 found that adolescents who were more exposed to sexuality in the media were also more likely to engage in sexual activity themselves.
According to www.time.com, "teens exposed to the most sexual content on TV are twice as likely as teens watching less of this material to become pregnant before they reach age 20".
o 18% of U.S teens have experienced sex prior to the age of fifteen
o 66% of unmarried teens have sex by the age of nineteen years
o By age twenty 75% of American females and 86% of American males are
o United States has the highest rates of pregnancy
o By age twenty 40%of white women and 64% of black women will have experienced
at least one pregnancy
o 80% of teen women who get married most likely get divorced
* About 1 million teenagers become pregnant each year, and more than 530,000
o 3 million out of 12 million teens are affected by sexually transmitted
diseases these diseases can cause complications with the baby
o 9% of teenage girls have low-birth weight babies
o 50% of adolescents who have a baby become pregnant again within two years of
the first birth
o The second baby born to an adolescent mother is at risk than the first baby
to be low birth weight
o The children of adolescent mothers are at increased risk than the first baby
to be low birth weight
o The children of adolescent mothers are at risk for being a teen parent
o Every 26 seconds another adolescent becomes pregnant
o Every 56 seconds another adolescent gives birth
o 85% of all teenage pregnancies are unplanned
o 13% of all U.S. births are to teenagers
o 80% of teenage pregnancies occur outside of marriage
o 9 million children living in welfare families
o The fathers born to teenage mothers are likely to be older than the women
o Teenagers account for 31% of all non-marital births
o The younger the mother the greater the risks of complications for both
o 2/3 of never married mothers now raise their children in poverty
o Children of teen mothers are far more likely than the children of older, two
parent families to fall behind and drop out of school. Their also at risk of
getting into trouble with the law, to abuse drugs and join gangs, to have
children of their own out of wedlock, and to become dependant on welfare.
o The majority of all teens in the U.S. have sexual intercourse by the time
they reach 12th grade
o 1/4 of all unintended teen pregnancies occur to adolescents using no birth
o Approximately 70% of all pregnant adolescents do not receive adequate
prenatal care, when in reality, they are the group that needs care the most
o Recent studies reveal that up to 2/3 of teen mothers have a history of
o School failure (not in all cases) often follows early childbearing,
pregnancy, and sexual intercourse
o Teens often have poor eating habits and may smoke, drink alcohol, and take
drugs, increasing the risk that their babies will be born with health problems
o Pregnant teens are least likely of all maternal are groups to get early and
regular parental care
o 1/3 of teens moms drop out of school
By: Rebekah Behrens