Teenage pregnancy – is a pregnancy of an underage (teenage) girl (typically 13-19 years). The problem of teenage pregnancy stems from the mismatch of the sexual and social maturity. Age and social maturity criteria vary in different countries and cultures.
Teenage pregnancy facts normally start with the bare statistics on the teenage pregnancy. The phenomenon of the teenage pregnancy is not new itself, hundreds of years ago getting pregnant before you turn 20 was more than normal. Teenage pregnancy has become an issue of the modern world due to the prolongation of the average life expectancy and the constant improving the health indicators. Means that now we can better evaluate the appropriate age for the childbirth, which is above the “teen” age. Thus, getting informed on the teenage pregnancy issue is a part of health care of any civilized society.
Teenage pregnancy in numbers
More than 16 million women at the age of 15-19 years give birth to children annually. Which means that teenage pregnancy rate is about 11% of all cases of childbirth in the world. 95% of these cases of childbirth occur in the countries of the low and average level of the income. The average rate of childbirth among teenagers in the countries with the average level of the income exceeds a similar indicator in the countries with the high level of the income more than twice, and in the countries with the low level of the income, such excess is fivefold.
Births that happen at the teenage show about 2% in China, 18% in Latin America and the Caribbean Region and more than 50% in Africa to the South of Sahara.
A half of all cases of teenage Pregnancy and childbirth at teenage occurs only in seven countries: Bangladesh, Brazil, Democratic Republic of Congo, India, Nigeria, United States of America and Ethiopia.
Why is teenage pregnancy a problem?
In the countries with the low and average level of the income, nearly 10% of girls become mothers by 16 years, and the highest rates are noted in Africa to the South from Sahara, and also in South Central and Southeast Asia.
The share of the women who are becoming pregnant before 15-year age varies in regions – for example, in Africa to the South from Sahara this indicator in Rwanda makes 0,3%, and in Mozambique – 12,2%.
The main factors of teenage pregnancy
Having a child out of marriage isn’t unusual in many countries. In Latin America, the Caribbean Region, in some parts of Africa to the South from Sahara and in the countries with the high level of the income higher rates of teenage pregnancy out of marriage, than those in Asia, are observed.
Childbirth among unmarried teenage mothers are unforeseen and comes to an end with artificial abortion.
A compulsory sex that 10% of the girls, having the first sexual relations aged under 15 years speak of, makes “contribution” to undesirable teen pregnancy.
The dangers of teenage pregnancy
11% of all cases of childbirth in the world occur for the teenage girls at the age of 10-19 years, 23% of the general quantity among them have diseases (the years of life corrected on disability) caused by pregnancy and childbirth.
14% of all unsafe abortions in the countries with the low and average level of the income are among women at the age of 15-19 years. About 2,5 million teenage girls annually go through unsafe abortions which lead to heavier complications in teenagers, than at more mature age.
In Latin America the risk of maternal death among girls aged less than 16 years exceeds a similar indicator among women at the age of 20-29 years by 4 times.
Many health issues have a special connection with negative results of pregnancy at teen age. They include anemia, malaria, HIV and other sexually transmitted infections, postnatal bleeding and mental disorders, such as depression.
At teenage age occurs to 65% of all cases of development of an obstetrics fistula, which leads to catastrophic consequences in life, both physical and social.
Among the children born to mothers aged less than 20 years, indicators of a stillbirth and death for the first week of life are 50% higher, than similar indicators among the children born to mothers of 20-29 years.
Death cases for the first month of life occur for 50%-100% more often among the children born to teenage mothers than among the children born to mothers of more mature age. The younger the mother is, the higher the risk is.
The indicators of premature birth, the births of children with low body weight and asphyxia are higher among the children born to teenage mothers, – all this increases the probability of death of the child and development of problems with its health in the future.
Pregnant teenage girls with bigger probability smoke and take alcohol, than women of more mature age. This can lead to the development of many problems of the child after his birth.
Teenage pregnancy and communities
Many pregnant girls have to leave schools. It has long-term consequences for them personally, for their families and communities.
Research cases show that delaying of childbirth on later age can lower indicators of growth of birth rate and potentially has considerable economic and social advantages, besides improvement of the health of teenagers.
For the last two-three decades, the indicators of childbirth among teenage girls have considerably decreased in the major countries and regions. However, the topic of birth control is a heavy issue of the modern society and the society prefers that people become mature before starting a new cluster of the family. That is why sex education is a priority task of the family, not of the educational establishment.
Read more about Contraception and Birth Control Methods
In many countries the age of first marriage increases, and also the indicators of use of contraceptives among both married, and unmarried teenage girls increases.
Education levels of teenage girls increase in many countries and extend their opportunities for employment. Low education levels are still closely connected to early childbirth.
Knowing all that, don’t avoid the talk with your daughter or son, who may both be involved in teenage pregnancy occurrence. If the teenage pregnancy is already your case – insist that your daughter continues to study. The uneducated mother is a poor help for the development of the new personality. Wish you wisdom at your participation.