Today teenagers are facing many problems which they can’t solve on their own and are petrified of telling their parents or guardian figures because they are afraid they will get the blame for the fault they may or may not be accountable but they don’t want reiteration of their faults, they want to support. Also, they don’t tell anyone because they have an irretrievable faith in the person or the partner (which is not a bad thing in many cases). Teenage is the age of all the rebellion against the elders, feeling on top of the world, thinking that they are being adult and responsible even if they are not. At an age when they think they can do everything, nothing is hard.
Generally, premarital sex is discouraged in India the said problem here is teenage pregnancy and handling all its procedures on their own in an unsafe way. Teenage pregnancy and childbearing have become a major concern in the coming years because of the negative effects they have on both the child and mother (also the people surrounding them). It is estimated that teenage women in their first sexual relationship become pregnant.
In India, the mother is the primary decision maker regarding seeking abortion and the involvement of the father or partner is less involved but they assist in the abortion process. Unmarried and also pregnant is something slurred widely in India and that results in delay in abortion. Many parents of adolescent abortion seekers took severe measures to punish them, which include beating and starvation, and therefore, many pregnancies remain hidden from the parents of the seekers
Reasons for adolescent pregnancy:
- Not using contraception- Use of birth control methods is a must and their use should not be compromised. Don’t rely on the talks of pulling out and purchasing the contraceptives on your partner. Also incorrect use of contraceptives.
- Inadequate or inappropriate communication- It is obvious that discussing sex-related issues is considered taboo in society. There is a complete lack of communication between parents and children and they don’t get to understand or even know each other.
- Lack of parental support- The absence of companionship between parents and their children leads to a lack of support from parents. The negligence towards their child’s demands or their feelings is also a form of lack of support. The likelihood of prioritizing their reputation in society than, their children’s happiness.
- Poverty/ Broken homes- It’s also the main reason for teenage pregnancy because the women here are not supported financially and there is a lack of parental support so they learn from an early age to sell their bodies for financial aids. And poverty leads to a lack of proper education, negative peer pressure.
- Knowledge and proper education- Lack of proper education leads to a lack of knowledge and also ignorance about sexual issues. Girls are thought to not have enough knowledge about sexuality and contraception. So they can be shy about buying contraception from shops for the fear of being seen by some known person and reported to their parents.
- Friendly pieces of advice- Lack of knowledge can lead to referring to the easiest available source which are friends who are of the same age and may or may not have more sexual experience than the person (here adolescent).
- Individual interpersonal behavior issues should be intervened because societal, cultural, environmental, and also economic factors play a significant role in accessing the health care centers. Also, parental influence can affect the decision.
Drawbacks of teenage pregnancy:
- Adverse health issues- Pregnancy in adolescence is also caused by caesarian section, prolonged labor, early infant deaths, low birth weight of the child, and several mental and physical weaknesses after pregnancy for the mother. (If pursued pregnancy)
- Secondary infertility (If got an abortion)
- Abortion with pills not taking surgical procedure. With the availability of abortion pills (Rs1000- 1500) and sold without medical prescription or supervision the abortion done can be life-threatening. Surgical procedures for abortion are declined because they can be performed without medical prescription. (if got an abortion)
- Hindrance in attaining education- If decided to keep the baby there may be difficulty in attaining the academic potential the young woman is capable of. Even if the parents are supportive there can be some setbacks in physical and mental health.
- Responsibilities- Teenage mothers will be confronted with adult responsibilities that they may or may not be ready for. If ready, then it’s also good.
Many young women lack the awareness that missed period may indicate pregnancy. Sex education programs should include many things like the link between pregnancy and missed period and if missed a period or found pregnant don’t depend on the homemade methods they are not reliable and effective (like eating unripe papaya or drinking more coffee and may more).
Sex education programs should also include gender-equal programs, focusing not only on young women but also on young men to under their responsibility regarding reproductive health and how they can influence. Stories about teenage pregnancy, parenthood, and abortion should also be included (for young men too).
Since 2002, both married and unmarried women even teenagers (under 18 with guardian’s consent) are legally entitled to have an abortion.
Parents should be supportive because it is found that women who relied on their parents had obtained early (also first-trimester) abortion, whereas, lack of support may lead to delay in seeking an abortion.
Communication between parents and young women should be improved, so they can rely on them. Parents should not always care about the reputation in society.
Access to abortion service clinics should be expanded, also making them friendlier and non-judgmental; because if you try to talk or give a moral speech to a teenager they’ll just walk away.
Motherhood can be an important part of a young woman for their moral and responsible construction and also provide a new direction in life; studies also showed that teenage mothers can derive psychological benefits from pregnancy and overcome obstacles. But motherhood also has negative side effects for teenage mothers like stigmatization from society, poverty, or problem with education. Pregnancy can be the right decision in many cases.
Image Credit: Antonioguillem - stock.adobe.com
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