Teenage pregnancy is the pregnancy of underage girls during their adolescent period, normally between the ages of 13 to 19 but this range varies depending on the age of the menarche and the legal age of adulthood, which varies from one country to another. The rate of teen pregnancy is on the rise world wide due to changing lifestyles and increased fertility rate hence raising lot of social and economic concerns in the society.
The possible causes and predisposing factors of teenage pregnancies are early marriages, sexual activity during adolescence, inadequate sex education, sexual abuse, pornography, drug abuse, lower education levels, and high poverty levels.
Teenage pregnancies results into the dropouts of the teenage girls from schools. The dropouts mostly affect high school girls due to the dominant peer pressure factors and inadequate sex education.
The education of teenage a girl is significantly affected because she must drop out of school in order to prepare and take care of her baby. Statistics shows that, the teenage pregnancy is the major reason for the young girls’ dropouts in high school. These dropouts have great negative impacts on the education potential and the bright future of the girl child. Teenage pregnancies are prone to many obstetrics complications as compared to mature women due to physiological and morphological factors. These complications demands extra healthcare attention that is very expensive, especially to the poor families.
There are also serious health’s risks associated with teen pregnancies that can permanently affect the health of a teenage mother if there is no consultation of a professional obstetrician during delivery. Social stigma and stress negatively affects the self-esteem of a pregnant teenage. When a teenage becomes pregnant, she develops fears about unplanned pregnancy, becomes frustrated, and begins to lose self-esteem and hope, as it seems to her that she has reached a premature destiny of her life. The pregnant teen has fears of disclosing her pregnancy to any one not even his boyfriend who impregnates her, because she is worried about what they will say about her pregnancy condition.
She develops stigma and confusion wondering on what kind of image she will portray to his friends, family, and teachers. She contemplates on the options of either disclosing the bad news and keep her pregnancy or keep the secret and do abortion.
Schools are required to develop programs and workshops that will provide opportunity to the students to develop their youth positively and become busy as idle minds are devils workshops. Drug abuse and pornography should not be allowed in school because it encourages early sexual activity in teens. Girls need skills on how to avoid and protect themselves against predisposing factors and situations that prove to be very dangerous to their safety. Sex education will enable girls make their informed decisions and be responsible to their own actions and consequences.
Teen pregnancy is a major problem affecting girl child education worldwide. The increased teenage pregnancy rate is due to the change in lifestyles such as availability of pornography, drug abuse, peer pressure, increased fertility, and poverty. Teenage pregnancy poses many challenges to the families and education system translating into serious socioeconomic problems in the society that need immediate attention to address.
Teenagers are young and quite innocent on the consequences of teenage pregnancies, so they need proper parental and school guidance on the knowledge of sexuality and pregnancy.