Effects of pregnancy and abortion on the health status of secondary school female students in Cross River State
CHAPTER ONE INTRODUCTION
Pregnancy is the common name for gestation in humans. It is the development of one or more offspring, known as an embryo or fetus in the uterus (Wikipedia 2009). Pregnancy usually lasts for about nine (9) months in human beings. At this stage the embryo is developing offspring during the first 8 weeks following conception, and subsequently the term fetus is used until child birth. In many societies, medical or legal definitions of human pregnancy is somewhat arbitrarily divided into three trimester periods of three months each as a means to simplify reference to the different stages of pre-natal development. The first trimester carries the highest risk of miscarriage (natural death of embryo or fetus). During the second trimester the development of the fetus can be more easily monitored and diagnosed. The third trimester is marked by further growth of the fetus and the development of fetal fat stores (Wikipedia 2009).
Abortion is the expulsion of the offspring in a state of development from the womb between one to seven months of pregnancy, which is giving birth before the right time. In most cases of abortion is referred to as miscarriage of birth. Abortion should be considered as a lifesaving situation due to illness. But however it is being practice at will due to societal changes and orientations. It is a situation where life is being tempered and it is becoming too dangerous and threatening to the life of the mother.
Abortion is also a form of removing pregnancy from the womb, either by taking pills (medical abortion) which involves taking medicines to cause miscarriage or by surgery (surgical abortion) where the pregnancy is removed from the womb. Most abortions can be provided on a daycare basis which means you do not need to stay at a clinic overnight. Every year almost 12,000 thousand teenage girls have abortion (Bpas 2009).
Abortion consists of two types which are the PILLS and SURGICAL abortion. The pills abortion is used after 9 to 24 weeks of pregnancy which involves taking of medicines to cause the womb to contract and push out the pregnancy. Also from 22 weeks after which the pregnancy is push out and an injection to the womb is given. Such injections are given to ensure the homeostatic balance of the uterus. However a checkup visit to the clinic is also required. Surgical abortion is the dilation and evacuation of the fetus which takes up to 15 to 24 weeks of the pregnancy. In surgical abortion the doctors are required to remove the pregnancy using narrow forceps passed through the neck of the womb. This form of abortion is carried out under general anesthetic conditions (asleep). In surgical abortions, one can visit the clinic and return home the same day of abortion (for pregnancy up to 20 weeks) (Bpass 2009).
Abortion is obviously increasing and identified as a social problem in so many ways, it destabilizes the teenager’s educational career as a useful member of the society. She is out rightly stigmatized by the society and in the long run turns the girl into a prostitute. Another major incidence of pregnancy and abortion is the socio-cultural background of people within Numan Local Government. This is attributed to the orientation or beliefs which subjected the girl-child to early hawking at a very tender age of about nine or ten years. These inappropriate exposures make her vulnerable as well asthe deceitfulness of irresponsible young boys and old men, usually compromise with her innocence. It is a common fact that the impact of pregnancy and abortion on girl-child education in our secondary schools is spreading in our communities and this need to be eradicated or reduced in the Local Government. In other words to solve this problem the parents and teachers should mould their children to be better adults. The government should introduce sex education in our secondary schools and tertiary institutions,’ and introduce relevant academic curriculum in order to reduce the cases of unwanted pregnancy