Teenage pregnancy, also known as adolescent pregnancy, is pregnancy in a female under the age of 20. Pregnancy can occur with sexual intercourse after the start of ovulation, which can be before the first menstrual period (menarche) but usually occurs after the onset of periods.
Ghana continues to record higher rates of AP. The recent national report shows that 11% of adolescents aged 15–19 years had had a live birth, of which 3% are pregnant with first child and 14% had begun childbearing (15)
The study found that most of the teenagers fell pregnant at the age of 16 and 19 years. Almost all of them fall pregnant because of lack of parental guidance and role models in the village. Most of them were influenced by their peers who fell pregnant at an early age and were ignorant about contraceptives.
What causes teenage pregnancy?
* Lack of information about sexual and reproductive health and rights.
* Inadequate access to services tailored to young people.
* Family, community and social pressure to marry.
* Sexual violence.
* Child, early and forced marriage, which can be both a cause and a consequence.
Cunningham and Boult (1996) asserted that teenage pregnancy has a lot of social consequences which include school drop-out or interrupted schooling, falling prey to criminal activity, abortion, ostracism, child neglect, school adjustment difficulties for their children, adoption, lack of social security, poverty, ...
Teenage mothers have higher risks of living on lower incomes, lower educational achievements and difficulties with housing and family conflicts when compared to their peers. Teenage mothers are also more likely to be socially isolated.
Teenage births result in health consequences; children are more likely to be born pre-term, have lower birth weight, and higher neonatal mortality, while mothers experience greater rates of post-partum depression and are less likely to initiate breastfeeding [1, 2].
Although there are many different ways to prevent a teenage girl from becoming pregnant, the only one that is absolutely effective is sexual abstinence. This method is the only one that guarantees no risk of getting pregnant and protects the teen from getting any STD's.
Conclusions. It is known that girls who become pregnant as a teenager will face increased medical risks, and if the pregnancy is taken to term, there are also increased medical risks for their babies. We also know that teenage mothers, and their children, can suffer from poorer life outcomes.
Experts say the best time to get pregnant is between your late 20s and early 30s. This age range is associated with the best outcomes for both you and your baby. One study pinpointed the ideal age to give birth to a first child as 30.5. Your age is just one factor that should go into your decision to get pregnant.
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