Teen pregnancy is one of the major social issues in today's society. Today's teens are becoming sexually active at a younger age than teens of the previous generation. Most of the times, it is due to peer pressure to be "cool" and "popular". However, sadly, they are not aware of the consequences of unprotected sex, which leads to unwanted pregnancy. The pressures are manifold in such cases, first informing the parent about the situation that they are in. Secondly, the guilt and shame such girls undergo psychologically scar them for life.
Social Problems of Pregnant Teens
No matter how progressive a society is, unwed teen pregnancy is considered negatively. If the mother happens to be a teenager, the problems become more acute. Education of the mother sufferers the most as she drops out of school. Even if she continues her studies, the burden of looking after a child takes toll on her academic career. Lack of education hinders her progress in life and more often than not, such mothers turn towards crime. Poverty becomes a way of life and most of the time such mothers become victims of domestic violence, sexual and drug abuse and repeat pregnancy before they turn 20. The child in turn sufferers neglect and even abandonment.
Health Problems of Teenage Pregnancy
Along with social problems, such young mothers face a host of health problems. The body of a woman is not ready physically or psychologically to bear a child at such a tender age. The teen faces problems whether she terminates the pregnancy or continues it. If she decides to terminate, there can be problems in conception later. Repeated abortion can lead to a severe gynecological problem. If she decides to continue with the pregnancy, the health of the unborn child can be in danger due to the improper eating habits of the mother. If she has a history of addiction, the child is in more danger. Underweight babies or babies with birth defects are a common result of teen pregnancy.
After birth, the mental state of the mother undergoes lots of stress due to emotional, social and hormonal reasons. Some mothers tend to reject their babies and take poor care of them as they view the child as unwanted. Some rejoice in their motherhood but their inexperience and age act as hindrance to their motherhood. If the mother decides to give up the child for adoption, a sense of guilt develops which can harm her future mental health.
Present Social Scenario
With the spread of sex education and increased use of contravention, recent studies have shown that there is a steady decrease in teenage pregnancy in the US. The numbers of young mothers in 1991 was 60 among 1000 that had reduced to 51 in 1998. Still, according to Women's Health Channel, there are about 1 million pregnant teens in the US every year. Beside, facing the above-mentioned emotional, social and medical problems, such mothers further put themselves in danger by not seeking proper medical assistance.
What then is the solution? Proper sex education, guidance and counseling regarding teen pregnancy and its consequences, family support and helping hand from the society are some of the solutions. All these can lead to decrease in the problem of teen pregnancy.