Did you know that every 3 out of 10 teenage girls will get pregnant at least once before the age of 20?
Teen pregnancy can result in a very difficult situation for girls and their loved ones. The problems it can cause potentially affect teens economically, emotionally and physically. It is important for the teens to be informed about the dangers when getting pregnant. We also have to be there for them because it is not that uncommon to become pregnant for girls younger and younger, and is especially important to address when hitting puberty.
What are the Main Causes of Teenage Pregnancy?
Unprotected sex is the number one cause of teenage pregnancy. Because of this, more methods to prevent pregnancy have been made. Other causes of teen pregnancy can be:
- Peer Pressure: Sometimes most teens do things that their friends tell them they should do just to feel like they ‘fit in’ or to feel ‘cool’. Sometimes teens will even listen to their friends more than they do to their parents. Studies have shown this happens more to the males.
- Family Dynamics: Teen girls can began to turn to their friends for sex advice when they don’t feel comfortable with their parents. This happens mostly with strict parents or absent parents. Daughters of teen mothers also have been proven more likely to go through teen pregnancy.
- Glamorization of Pregnancy: Nowadays, the media has often made it seem that being pregnant is a modern tendency. Movies and TV shows have made this situation seem like something glamorizing (like MTV’s Teen Mom series.)
- Lack of Knowledge: The lack of realistic and proper sex education is a big factor for teen pregnancy. Most schools provide education about sexual intercourse, yet parents and mentors can also support this education with their own sit-downs with their kids on the topic.
- Sexual Abuse & Rape: Teen pregnancy can be the result of rape and sexual abuse. This can also damage teens emotionally. If you, or your child has experience sexual harassment, abuse or rape, please make sure you get help immediately (Call 911 if it has been recent, or if the incident is in the past, please contact a mental health professional immediately.)
- Substance Abuse: The abuse of drugs and alcohol at a young age is a big cause of teen pregnancy. These substances began to take away the control for people in any situation, especially in a sexual situation.
- Socioeconomic Status: The reasons that lower income teen girls have a higher risk of pregnancy are income inequality, education, neighborhood disorder, etc.
- Barriers to Contraception: Some people may not have access to health insurance or immediate access to a medical provider. Birth control also can have negative side effects causing girls to not want to use it.
Health Risks of Teenage Pregnancy
When girls began their period or even before that, they began to ovulate and this means they are able to get pregnant. But this does not mean that it is safe! Health risks do exist for the teenager and the baby.
Some of these are:
- Premature birth
- Low birth weight infants
- High blood pressure
- Nutrient Deficiencies
- Higher rate of infant mortality
How Pregnancy Affects the Teenager Emotionally
If you think you might be pregnant make sure to talk to a trusting adult, teacher or doctor and find out for sure. The emotional side of teenage pregnancy is affected in education, friendships, family and relationships. Falling behind in school can occur due to symptoms, doctor’s appointments, due dates, etc. Another thing most girls go through is losing their parent’s trust. This puts an extra strain to the pregnancy as they truly need as much support as possible. And love!
Problems with your boyfriend can be tricky when the pregnancy was unplanned. Especially if the relationship is new. You will began to question him and yourself on becoming a parent. And, teen pregnancy can also produce mood swings, fatigue and it changes what you can do or cannot do. Further, there are symptoms like nausea, missing your period, headaches, etc. Pregnancy causes more tiredness and you will find yourself sleeping a lot more. This can obviously affect your social life, which is super important to so many teens.
Conclusion and Information about Peek Counseling for Teens
After leaving this information for you, please also know that teen pregnancy is not as bad as it seems. There are always ways that you can find to get through this as long as you keep good communication with your loved ones and seek help. And, many high schools even offer daycare to help young mothers. If you feel like you’re alone, don’t be afraid to contact Peek Counseling. Katie Bisbee-Peek is a trained professional teen counselor who helps adolescents, teenagers and youth with the struggles life can bring to them. Schedule an appointment today by sending me an email.
Teen Pregnancy Resources: