Factors and effect associated with teenage pregnancy

Factors and effect associated with teenage pregnancy

Introduction Although it has declined substantially over the past two decades, the pregnancy rate among girls and women 15 to 19 years of age remains a stubborn public health problem. Each year, more than 600,000 teens become pregnant and 3 in 10 teens will become pregnant before they reach 20 years of age

 According to community studies, 10%-40% of young girls have had unintended pregnancy and 14 million children worldwide are born every year to young married and unmarried women aged 15-19 years . Similarly, teenage pregnancy accounts for about 70,000 deaths annually. These studies show that teenage pregnancy is still at a high prevalence and particularly most of these cases come from the developing countries. The major cause of teenage pregnancy is the lack of guidance due to guardians and parents who are reluctant or do not understand the need to educate teenagers about the vice and sexual reproductive behaviour which leave the teenagers not properly guided during their adolescent stage of development yet this is the critical stage in which their cognitive, emotional, psychological and social skills mature

There is also a significant contribution of early marriages in increasing the rate of teenage pregnancy as it was found out that 15% of the young women aged between 20-29 years old were married at the age of 15, while 49% were married by the age of 18. Teenage pregnancy can have detrimental socioeconomic and psychological outcomes for the teen mother, her child and young siblings; for it is associated with medical complications, sexually transmitted infections and family planning challenges . Teenage pregnancy also accounts for about 14% of about the 20 million unsafe abortions every year. Teenage mothers are also unable to support themselves and are most likely not able to support their children in terms of providing for their needs like education, health care, housing and other small needs. This burden later on leads to a continuous chain of poverty cycles

Teenage pregnancy rate is highest in Africa than its surrounding continents; as it is a fact that of the 20 countries in the world having the highest teenage pregnancy rates, 18 countries are from Africa . Uganda has one of the highest levels of teenage pregnancy ranked 14th out of 54 countries in Africa] with 24% of adolescents (13-19 years) in 2011; who were already mothers or pregnant with their first child . Currently, the average prevalence of teenage pregnancy in Uganda is as high as 25%, with 27% in rural areas and 19% in urban areas

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