One of the biggest public health challenge of the 21st century is teenage pregnancy. Globally, almost a million girls get pregnant each year. According to the center for disease control 89 percent of birth by teenage girls occur outside marriage.
Available data from the World Health Organization (WHO) shows that 95% of child birth by adolescents happen in low- and middle-income countries. The global average birth rate among 15 to 19 year old teenagers is 49 per 1000 girls while the highest rates of up to 299 were recorded in sub-Saharan Africa.
Teenage pregnancy complicates the lives of young people, below are 7 things teen pregnancy destroys.
Most teenage girls get pregnant for their peers while in school. This temporarily short circuits their education. While some are expelled from school others return to school to discover that while they dropped out of school to have their babies, their peers have moved on after completing their studies. Studies have shown that 40% of teen mothers are unable to pursue higher education.
Destroys Self Esteem
Teen pregnancies can severely affect self-esteem, the embarrassment could sometimes be unbearable to the young adult forcing them into self-isolation and its inherent consequences.
Lead to Depression
Teenage pregnancy is accompanied with a lot of emotional and psychological stress. Social and societal alienation during this period are responsible for the high rates of depression and suicide recorded among pregnant teenagers.
Destitution and Prostitution
Many pregnant teens are rejected by their families who see them as disappointments. In a bid to make ends meet and cater for needs most pregnant teens with nowhere to go turn to prostitution and other antisocial behaviors for survival.
The bodies of many pregnant teens are not ready for child bearing, they are most times anatomically and emotionally unprepared. The increased risk of birth defects and complications during child birth is major ‘’demon’’ every pregnant teen must face.
Many have also died in their attempt to self-abort their babies.
Pregnant teenagers have turned to drug abuse to escape the physical, mental, and psychological trauma of their condition. The use of these substances over a long period of time transform them into addicts even after the birth of their children.
Teenage Pregnancy destroys families
When a girl gets pregnant, the crisis that sometimes erupts in the immediate family could consume the marriage of her parents. The tension generated by the disappointment could permanently alter the lives of the family members. In addition, family friends who were hitherto close to the family might begin to distance their wards from the affected family as a precaution.