Teenage Pregnancy Causes, Consequences, and Prevention.

A young girl backing a baby
A young girl backing a baby

It is not surprising that teenage pregnancy is a social and health issue considerably associated with poverty and lower educational levels because most of the population has little to no access to quality education. Some cases of teenage pregnancy are also related to sexual abuse and child marriage.

An adolescent mother is bound to face severe social issues like poverty. This means that access to quality health care and education is almost impossible. The need to survive with little to no support from family exposes them and their baby to many negative things in society.

Consequences of Teenage Pregnancy

Teenage pregnancy has both health and socio-economic effects on individuals, their families, and the community. The repercussion is, of course, greater for the adolescent mother who, in most cases, doesn’t have plans for pregnancy at the teenage stage. More often than not, the resources (money, food, shelter) available are insufficient to sustain the new mother, child and the entire family/community. As a result of this, there is a high risk of mortality.

The stigma associated with teenage pregnancy can lead to depression in many young girls. Depression gives room to other mental issues, which may lead to substance abuse, among many other negative things.

How to Prevent Teenage Pregnancy

Although there is no sure way to prevent teenagers from being sexually active, we can reduce unwanted teenage pregnancies through strategic plans. The following are some practical ways to prevent adolescent pregnancy;

  • Provision of sex education
  • Prevention of child marriages
  • Combat rape
  • Access to effective contraceptives
  • Free and non-discriminatory counselling in schools and community centres
  • The organisation of intervention programmes

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), there has been an uneven decrease in the rate of teenage pregnancies around the world. Still, it is hard to tell for a developing country like Nigeria due to limited available data.

We can, however, continue to speak up against child marriage and rape and encourage the spread of quality sex education.

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