Teenage Pregnancy: Occurrence And Risks

Despite of steadily decreasing rates of teenage pregnancy within the last decades in our country, this problem remains among the topical issues in modern American society, along with obesity, AIDS and drug abuse. In 2002 the rate of teenage births (from 15 to 19 years) totaled about 11% of all the births in the United States. Annually about 856,000 teenagers become pregnant, and approximately 425,000 become moms. At that, in our country one of three teenage girls gets pregnant before the age of 20.

Teenage pregnancy is, probably, one of the hardest experiences for a young developing individual. It brings to numerous changes in daily life of a teenager, like interruption of study, psychological pressure and stresses, emotional problems, including feelings of guilt or shame, and so on. Pregnancy means responsibility, which requires making serious decisions and being ready to overcome all the difficulties, connected with giving birth and bringing up the child.

As a rule, teenage pregnancy is unplanned, that is why it is accompanied with a number of possible economic, psychological and medical problems. First of all, it is necessary to make a choice between termination of the pregnancy, giving birth and parenting the baby or giving the baby for adoption. This question is among the hardest for a pregnant teenager, because, in addition to own viewpoints and feelings, teenagers are usually under heavy influence of their parents, friends, teachers, or just circumstances. That is why they are more likely to choose abortion.

Teenage PregnancyTeenage pregnancy is associated with numerous risks and possible dangers, connected with physiological and psychological sides of the issue. The most common risks for a pregnant teenager include fetal death, premature labor and/or delivery (when child is born underdeveloped), delivering a baby with low birth weight, problems with blood pressure or low iron level in blood, swelling, etc. In addition, teenage pregnancy health risks include sexually transmitted diseases and AIDS, hypertension, inability to put on weight and so on.

There are other groups of risks, mostly social and economic, which can bring to different problematic outcomes for a pregnant teenager. First of all, pregnancy in early age is usually linked to poor economic situation and single-parenting. Mostly, teenage fathers do not take their sexual relationships seriously and do not agree to create a family even in case of pregnancy of the partner. That is why a pregnant teenage girl frequently has to remain next to her parents and face all the problems of parenting her own child with or without their support and understanding.

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