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Pregnant before your twentieth birthday - What now?

Teenage pregnancy is a term which stands for a female person younger than 19, being pregnant. In the modern world of Australia, the numbers of teenage pregnancies have decreased significantly over time, with the wide availability of contraception, a great number of abortion clinics and an increased stress on sexual education.

Even though most teenage pregnancies are considered to be connected with accidents, this may not be the only case. Namely, many teenage individuals have sex with intentions to become pregnant, or do not use proper contraception even though they are completely aware that this may lead to pregnancy.

Risk Factors of Teenage Pregnancy

Many different factors affect a proneness of a female teenager to getting pregnant. First of all, frequent problems in the household and constant conflict between family members are likely to increase the chances of female pregnancy, along with violence and sexual abuse being present in the lives of affected females.

Commonly, lack of success at school can be related to one's susceptibility to teenage pregnancy, as well as a habit of skipping classes. Moreover, girls who come from poorer families or live in low-income communities are more likely to lack proper sexual education, having greater chances of getting pregnant before the 19th year of their lives. Also, those females who have had teenage pregnancy present in their family history may be likely to take the steps of their parents or grandparents.

Some other factors which potentially lead to teenage pregnancy are the absence of the father in the family, lack of self-esteem, relationships with partners who are older or living in parts of the world which are not connected to urban areas.

Health Implications for Teenage Mothers

Once faced with teenage pregnancy, a young woman does not have much assistance to count on. Basically, the number of terminated pregnancies cannot be properly assessed, due to the fact that Medicare does not cover for all instances of such necessities. Yet, it is known that more teenagers decide to abort than to keep the baby. Moreover, even when the baby is kept, it is commonly given to adoption.

Either way, seeking proper health education is crucial once being pregnant, regardless of the age of the woman in this stage. Yet, many teenage girls know nothing about the situations they are in, not seeking advice or guidance due to shame or secrecy. Also, many individuals go through a long-term stage of denial, refusing to believe that they are actually pregnant until the onset of the last trimester.

Due to the biological immaturity which is present in all teenagers younger than 15, pregnancy can be more dangerous than one might presume. Namely, girls of this age do not yet have properly developed pelvic areas and this can lead to numerous health complications during the pregnancy and the labor.

Additionally, teenage girls are more prone to diets and poor nutrition, not meeting the necessary nutritional requirements during their pregnancy.

Finally, the pregnancy, along with the birth of the baby, may have a greater impact on teenage mothers than on mothers who have reached the proper age for having a child. Teenage mothers may become depressed and severely bothered by peer isolation, lack of support and many other forms of social and financial pressures.

Socio-Economic Implications for Teenage Mothers

One of the greatest impacts teenage pregnancy can have on young women or girls is the abrupt cessation of their education. Most teenage mothers drop out of school and risk lacking proper qualifications for future employment. This result in these mothers depending on welfare or some underpaid, part-time jobs. This situation is bound to torment these young females quite a bit, making it impossible for them to take adequate care of their children. In fact, the low-income factor is likely to prevent them from having health insurance or proper housing.

However, these woes are not all. Additionally, teenage girls who end up with a child are usually pushed onto the margins of the society, being rejected by their peers, friends and family members. To make matters worse, 60% of these mothers do not have the father of the child there to support them.

Therefore, burdened by the excessive emotional, social and financial pressure, the females in this position may not want to take care of their babies. Furthermore, they might be prone to domestic violence.

Today, 3 out of 10 US girls become pregnant by the age of 20. Thus, more than 750,000 teenage pregnancies take place every year. However, the situation has improved significantly since 1991. If this was not so, 1.2 million of children would have been born to teenage mothers, leading to 460,000 children living in poverty and 700,000 children growing up without fathers.

All in all, being pregnant before your twentieth birthday may be a situation you do not want to find yourself in. If it is too late to speculate, then the best step to take is to get properly informed regarding teenage pregnancy and the support you can seek.

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