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What Is The Effect Of Teenage Pregnancy On Young Women?

What Is The Effect Of Teenage Pregnancy On Young Women?

What is Teenage Pregnancy?

Each year, around 21 million girls aged 15-19 get pregnant worldwide. Around 12 million of these girls give birth each year. The effect of teenage pregnancy cannot be ignored.

Teenage pregnancy is a worsening problem, especially for developing countries. Lack of education and available opportunities for young women contribute greatly to this health crisis.

Teen pregnancy in the Philippines

The Philippines has one of the highest rates of teenage pregnancy in the Southeast Asian region. The National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) and Commission on Population and Development (POPCOM) have both declared teenage pregnancy as a national emergency.

In 2018 alone, 183,000 live births by teenage mothers were recorded. While this number is lower compared to previous years, the decline has been slow. The number also remains higher than the average in the region.

World Bank data in 2020 suggests that more than 500 Filipina adolescents get pregnant and give birth every day.

What are the causes of teenage pregnancy?

There are many different factors that can contribute to an increased incidence of teenage pregnancy.

Teenage mothers more often come from marginalized communities.

This is due to marginalized communities not having enough access to education. Lack of sex education plays a big role when it comes to teenage pregnancy. Some young women become pregnant because they are not aware of safe sex practices. They may not have access to contraceptives. Unprotected sex leads to unwanted pregnancies.

Sexual violence may also be a driving force behind teenage pregnancy. The Philippine Legislators’ Committee on Population and Development Foundation Inc. notes that there is a strong connection between sexual violence and teenage pregnancy.

Save the Children Philippines also reports that early pregnancies trap adolescent Filipinas in a cycle of poverty, while suffering the stigma of being a teenage mother. Adolescents may also be forced into early marriage.

Adolescent Reproductive Health: Risks of Early Pregnancy

What Is The Effect of Teenage Pregnancy On A Young Girl?

Teenage mothers have been found to have an increased risk for the following illnesses:

Anemia

During pregnancy, women have an increased risk of developing iron deficiency anemia. However, for teenage mothers, the risk increases by around 2.5 times. Anemia during pregnancy increases the risk of premature birth, low birth weight, and postpartum depression.

The mother may require a blood transfusion if her anemia becomes too severe. For teenage mothers living in far-flung areas, or places without proper medical facilities, anemia can become very dangerous.

Sexually Transmitted Infections or STIs

Having unprotected sex also increases the risk of getting a sexually transmitted infection or STI.

Having an STI puts both the mother and baby at risk. Certain types of STIs such as syphilis can even cause organ damage and stillbirth in babies.

Using protection during sexual intercourse is important to both lower the chances of getting pregnant, and the chances of getting an STI.

Postpartum hemorrhage

Postpartum hemorrhage refers to potentially dangerous blood loss that happens right after giving birth. In some cases, a blood transfusion might also be necessary to replace the blood lost by the mother.

Studies have found that girls aged 10-19 had a higher risk of developing postpartum hemorrhage after giving birth.

The risk is compounded by many young mothers not having access to medical facilities.

Depression and other mental health problems

In addition to the physical effects of teenage pregnancy, being pregnant at a young age can also have an impact on the mental health of a young mother.

Some girls are afraid to tell their parents or guardians about their pregnancy. They may worry about the responsibility of having a child. Others feel the social stigma of being pregnant at a young age.

It is also difficult for teenage mothers to seek help and support during their pregnancy. Some may turn to substance abuse in order to cope with their situation.

Teenage mothers may also be victims of sexual violence, which may result in post-traumatic stress disorder or PTSD.

A study also found that even if suicide is rare among pregnant women, teenage mothers have a 19% higher chance of suicide ideation.

Key Takeaway

The effect of teenage pregnancy on a young Filipina can be very difficult to handle. This is why it is important to educate girls about sex education, and how they can avoid getting pregnant at a young age.

Providing them opportunities to educate themselves can also lower the chances that they will get pregnant at a very young age.

Providing young mothers support and assistance is crucial in order to make sure that they and their children are able to live better lives.

Learn more about sexual wellness here.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Sources

Pregnancy during Adolescence and Associated Risks: An 8-Year Hospital-Based Cohort Study (2007–2014) in Romania, the Country with the Highest Rate of Teenage Pregnancy in Europe, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5241487/

Accessed May 10, 2020

 

Adolescent pregnancy, https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/adolescent-pregnancy

Accessed May 10, 2020

 

Tween and teen health, https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/tween-and-teen-health/in-depth/teen-pregnancy/art-20048124

Accessed May 10, 2020

 

One in Ten Young Filipino Women Age 15 to 19 Is Already A Mother or Pregnant With First Child (Final Results from the 2013 National Demographic and Health Survey), https://psa.gov.ph/content/one-ten-young-filipino-women-age-15-19-already-mother-or-pregnant-first-child-final-results

Accessed May 10, 2020

 

#GirlsNotMoms: Eliminating Teenage pregnancy in the Philippines, https://philippines.unfpa.org/sites/default/files/pub-pdf/UNFPA_Policy_Brief_Teenage_Pregnancy_%282020-01-24%29.pdf

Accessed May 10, 2020

 

Save the Children calls on the passage of Teenage Pregnancy Bill as the world celebrates International Day of the Girl, https://reliefweb.int/report/philippines/save-children-calls-passage-teenage-pregnancy-bill-world-celebrates-international

Accessed April 9, 2021

 

More girls aged 10-14 get pregnant in the Philippines —POPCOM, https://www.gmanetwork.com/news/news/nation/726028/more-girls-aged-10-14-get-pregnant-in-the-philippines-popcom/story/

Accessed April 9, 2021

 

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Written by Jan Alwyn Batara on Apr 09
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