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TEENAGE PREGNANCY Teenage pregnancy  is pregnancy in human females under the age of 20 at the time that the pregnancy ends. A pregnancy can take place in apubertal  female before menarche (the first menstrual period), which signals the possibility of fertility, but usually occurs after menarche. In well-nourished girls, menarche usually takes place around the age of 12 or 13.


DIFINITION The age of the mother is determined by the easily verified date when the pregnancy  ends , not by the estimated date of conception.Consequently , the statistics do not include pregnancies that began in women aged 19 if they did not end until on or after the woman's 20th birthday. [7]  Similarly, statistics on the mother's marital status are determined by whether she is married at the end of the pregnancy, not at the time of conception.


CAUSES GENERAL In some societies, early marriage and traditional gender roles are important factors in the rate of teenage pregnancy. For example, in some sub-Saharan African countries, early pregnancy is often seen as a blessing because it is proof of the young woman's fertility . [  The average marriage age differs by country, and countries where teenage marriages are common experience higher levels of teenage pregnancies. In the Indian subcontinent, early marriage and pregnancy is more common in traditional rural communities than cities . ]  The lack of education on safe sex, whether it is from parents, schools, or otherwise, is a cause of teenage pregnancy. Many teenagers are not taught about methods of birth control and how to deal with peers who pressure them into having sex before they are ready. Many pregnant teenagers do not have any cognition of the central facts of sexuality . SEXUALITY In most countries, most men experience sexual intercourse for the first time before their 20th birthdays.Men in Western developed countries have sex for the first time sooner than in undeveloped and culturally conservative countries such as Sub-Saharan Africa and much of Asia . In a 2005 Kaiser Family Foundation  study of US teenagers, 29% of teens reported feeling pressure to have sex, 33% of sexually active teens reported "being in a relationship where they felt things were moving too fast sexually", and 24% had "done something sexual they didn’t really want to do ". [  Several polls have indicated peer pressure as a factor in encouraging both girls and boys to have sex . [ The increased sexual activity among adolescents is manifested in increased teenage pregnancies and an increase in sexually transmitted disoriented.

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Lack of contraception Adolescents may lack knowledge of, or access to, conventional methods of preventing pregnancy, as they may be too embarrassed or frightened to seek such information . ] Contraception for teenagers presents a huge challenge for the clinician. In 1998, the government of the United Kingdom set a target to halve the under-18 pregnancy rate by 2010. The Teenage Pregnancy Strategy (TPS) was established to achieve this. The pregnancy rate in this group, although falling, rose slightly in 2007, to 41.7 per 1000 women. Young women often think of contraception either as 'the pill' or condoms and have little knowledge about other methods. They are heavily influenced by negative, second-hand stories about methods of contraception from their friends and the media. Prejudices are extremely difficult to overcome. Over concern about side-effects, for example weight gain and acne, often affect choice. Missing up to three pills a month is common, and in this age group the figure is likely to be higher. Restarting after the pill-free week, having to hide pills, drug interactions and difficulty getting repeat prescriptions can all lead to method failure. Role of drug and alcohol Inhibition - reducing  drugs and  alcoholmay possibly encourage unintended sexual activity. If so, it is unknown if the drugs themselves directly influence teenagers to engage in riskier behavior, or whether teenagers who engage in drug use are more likely to engage in sex. Correlation does not imply causation The drugs with the strongest evidence linking them to teenage pregnancy are  alcohol   cannabis  " ecstacy "  and other substituted amphetamines. The drugs with the least evidence to support a link to early pregnancy are  opioid, such as  heroi,morphine and  oxycodone of which a well-known effect is the significant reduction of libido – it appears that teenage opioid  usershave significantly reduced rates of conception compared to their non-using, and  alcohol"ecstasy cannabis, and  amphetamineusing peers


E ffects Several studies have examined the  socioeconomIc , medical, and psychological impact of pregnancy and parenthood in teens. Life outcomes for teenage mothers and their children vary; other factors, such as poverty or social support, may be more important than the age of the mother at the birth. Many solutions to counteract the more negative findings have been proposed. Teenage parents who can rely on family and community support, social services and child-care support are more likely to continue their edu cation and get higher paying jobs as they progress with their education. MOTHER Being a  young mother  in an industrialized country can affect one's education. Teen mothers are more likely to drop out of high school .  However, recent studies have found that many of these mothers had already dropped out of school before becoming pregnant, but those in school at the time of their pregnancy were as likely to graduate as their peers .  One study in 2001 found that women who gave birth during their teens completed secondary-level schooling 10–12% as often and pursued post-secondary education 14–29% as often as women who waited until age 30. Young motherhood  in an industrialized countrycan affect  employmeNtand  social class

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CHILD Early motherhood can affect the psychosocial developmenT  of the infant. The children of teen mothers are more likely to be born prematurely with a low birth weight, predisposing them to many other lifelong conditions . [  Children of teen mothers are at higher risk of intellectual, language, and socio-emotional delays . [ Developmental disabilities and  behaviorlissues are increased in children born to teen mothers . [  One study suggested that adolescent mothers are less likely to stimulate their infant through affectionate behavios  such as touch, smiling, and verbal communication, or to be  sensitiVeand  accepting toward his or her needs . [  Another found that those who had more social support were less likely to show  an.ge  toward their children or to rely upon  punishment. MEDICAL Maternal and prenatal health is of particular concern among teens who are pregnant or parenting. The worldwide incidence of premature birthand  low birth weight is higher among adolescent mothers. [ 3  In a rural hospital in West Bengal, teenage mothers between 15 and 19 years old were more likely to have anemia, preterm delivery, and low birth weight than mothers between 20 and 24 years old . [ Research indicates that pregnant teens are less likely to receive prenatal care often seeking it in the third trimester, if at all . ]  The Guttmacher Institute reports that one-third of pregnant teens receive insufficient prenatal care and that their children are more likely to have health issues in childhood or be hospitalized than those born to older women . [ Young mothers who are given high-quality maternity care have significantly healthier babies than those who do not. Many of the health-issues associated with teenage mothers appear to result from lack of access to adequate medical care . Many pregnant teens are at risk of nutritional deficiencies from poor eating habiTs  common in adolescence, including attempts to lose weigHt  through  dieting  skipping meaLsfood faddism,snacking , and consumption of fast food .


TEENAGE FATHERHOOD In some cases, the father of the child is the husband of the teenage girl. The conception may occur within wedlock, or the pregnancy itself may precipitate the marriage (the so-called shotgun weddinG . In countries such as India the majority of teenage births occur within marriage . In other countries, such as the United States and the Republic of IrelanD , the majority of teenage mothers are not married to the fathers of their children . [ In the UK, half of all teenagers with children are lone parents, 40% are cohabitating as a couple and 10% are married.Teenage parents are frequently in a romantic relationship at the time of birth, but many adolescent fathers do not stay with the mother and this often disrupts their relationship with the child. U.S. surveys tend to under-report the prevalence of teen fatherhood .  In many cases, "teenage father" may be a misnomer. Studies by the Population Reference Bureau and the National Center for Health Statistics found that about two-thirds of births to teenage girls in the United States are fathered by adult men aged over 20 . [  The Guttmacher Institute reports that over 40% of mothers aged 15–17 had sexual partners three to five years older and almost one in five had partners six or more years older .  A 1990 study of births to California teens reported that the younger the mother, the greater the age gap with her male partner . [  In the UK 72% of jointly registered births to women aged under 20, the father is over 20, with almost 1 in 4 being over 25 . [


PREVENTION Many health educators have argued that comprehensive sex educationwould effectively reduce the number of teenage pregnancies, although opponents argue that such education encourages more and earlier sexual activity. Interventions combining education and contraceptives appear to reduce unplanned teenage pregnancy, however no one intervention yet stands out as the most effective . Netherlands The Dutch approach to preventing teenage pregnancy has often been seen as a model by other countries. The curriculum focuses on values, attitudes, communication and negotiation skills, as well as biological aspects of reproduction. The media has encouraged open dialogue and the health-care system guarantees confidentiality and a non-judgmental approach . United Kingdom See also: Teenage pregnancy and sexual health in the United Kingdom In the UK, the teenage pregnancy strategy, which was run first by the Department of Healthand is now based out of the Children, Young People and Families directorate in the Department for Children, Schools and Families, works on several levels to reduce teenage pregnancy and increase the social inclusion of teenage mothers and their families by: joined up action, making sure branches of government and health and education services work together effectively; prevention of teenage pregnancy through better sex education and improving contraceptive and advice services for young people, involving young people in service design, supporting the parents of teenagers to talk to them about sex and relationships, and targeting high-risk groups; better support for teenage mothers, including help returning to education, advice and support, work with young fathers, better childcare and increasing the availability of supported housing. The teenage pregnancy strategy has had mixed success. Although teenage pregnancies have fallen overall, they have not fallen consistently in every region, and in some areas they have increased.



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