State Highest Teenage Pregnancy Rates - The World Health Organization (WHO) describes young people as individuals between the ages of 10 and 19. In this sense, teenage pregnancy can be defined as the occurrence of pregnancy in girls aged 10 to 19 years. In this post, we will focus more on the birth rate among youth aged 15-19 because it is the widest range of data available.
Each year, more than 20 million girls (ages 15 to 19) in developing countries become pregnant, and an estimated 12 million of them give birth (Darroch
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2016). No less than 770,000 births occur to girls under the age of 15 in developing countries (UNFPA, 2013). Adolescent pregnancy has become a major public health problem, especially in sub-Saharan Africa, where nearly 10% of girls become mothers by the age of 16, leaving the highest rate in Africa. As a result, this region is also known for its high maternal and child morbidity and mortality.
The Teen Pregnancy Rate Is On The Decline
According to the Nigeria Demographic Health Survey (NDHS), the adolescent birth rate in 2018 was 106 births per 1,000 women. Bauchi State had the highest number of adolescent births (198) whereas Imo State had the least number of adolescent births (Fig. 1). In general, teenage births appear to be higher in the north, especially in the north-west zone (Fig. 2), where the median age of first marriage and first intercourse is around 16 years (NDHS, 2018).
The adolescent birth rate in Nigeria has been steadily declining since 2003, from 126 to 106 births per year. 1,000 girls (Fig. 3), with the 2018 rate being the lowest since 1990.
The data show that the median age for first intercourse is approx. in the age group of 15 years among teenage mothers in Nigeria (DHS 2003; 2008; 2013). Teenage pregnancy is known to be a major contributor to dropout rates. In a study conducted by AntwiDanso and Edet in 2011, findings showed that the majority of girls drop out of school due to pregnancy and some become pregnant at the age of six in the primary school of the Nigerian school system.
Figure 4: Percentage of 15-19-year-olds who have given birth or are pregnant with their first child (WHO, 2018)
Trends In Teen Pregnancy And Childbearing
The figure above shows the percentage of girls aged 15-19 who have given birth or are currently pregnant with their first child from 1990 to 2015. In 2015, there was an increase in the proportion of girls who had given birth with 9 %. , and there was a 0.7% increase in the percentage of girls who were pregnant with their first child. This chart shows a steady increase in the number of preterm girls who are pregnant with their first child. The percentage of women aged 15-19 who have given birth before significantly exceeds the percentage of those with their first child and is increasing.
Figure 5 shows the number of deaths and death rates per 100,000 girls. The maternal condition is listed as the third leading cause of death among girls in Nigeria with a total of 6,202 deaths (which is about 31% of deaths per 100,000 girls). This is much higher than deaths from meningitis and sickle cell disease.
Adolescent pregnancies mostly occur in low- and middle-income countries, generally affected by poverty and lack of education among others (UNICEF, 2013). In some communities, girls are pressured to marry and give birth early (WHO, 2020; Kozuki
2013). According to the World Bank, more than 36% of girls in underdeveloped countries are married before the age of 18, and 12% before the age of 15.
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Misconceptions about the use of contraceptives and the inability to access them due to age, marital status or financial constraints also determine the age of first pregnancy (WHO, 2011). Another major causal factor is sexual violence, because 1 in 3 girls in some communities report their first sexual encounter as coercion (Raj & Boehmer, 2013).
Early teenage pregnancy has major health consequences for young mothers and their babies. Complications from pregnancy and childbirth are the leading cause of death for girls aged 15-19.
1. Without sufficient support from the parents, young people risk not getting prenatal care. Antenatal care is especially important in the early months of pregnancy as it looks for medical problems in mother and baby, monitors the baby's growth and helps quickly identify any complications that arise. Although no pregnancy is risk-free, good prenatal care and support can help minimize these risks.
2. Factors such as age and overall health can increase the likelihood of experiencing complications during pregnancy (Joham, et al., 2014). Teenagers are at higher risk of pregnancy-related high blood pressure (preeclampsia) and its complications than average-aged mothers. Preeclampsia can also damage the kidneys or even be fatal to the mother or baby. Mothers aged 10-19 years have a higher risk of eclampsia, puerperal endometritis and systemic infections than women aged 20-24 years. Teens who are pregnant have a higher risk of developing pregnancy-induced hypertension than pregnant women in their 20s or 30s.
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3. Teens who are pregnant also have a higher chance of developing anemia. Anemia is a reduction in the number of red blood cells. This can make the mother feel weak and tired and can affect the baby's development.
4. Young people have a greater risk of giving birth to premature babies with smaller than normal weight babies (low birth weight). In addition, the earlier the baby is born, the greater the risk of respiratory, digestive, vision, cognitive and other problems. Low birth weight babies are also 5-30 times more likely to die than normal weight babies.
5. If a mother is under the age of 18, the probability of her baby dying in the first year of life is 60 percent higher than for babies born to mothers over the age of 19 (UNICEF, 1994).
6. For adolescents who have sex during pregnancy, sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) such as chlamydia and HIV are a major concern. Part of this great loss is due more to poor socio-economic status and lack of antenatal and midwifery care than to physical maturity.
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7. In addition, millions of unsafe abortions occur each year among girls aged 15-19, contributing to maternal mortality, morbidity and long-term health problems.
The social consequences for unmarried pregnant young people can be in the form of stigmatization, rejection or violence from partners, parents and peers. Girls who become pregnant before the age of 18 are more likely to experience marital or intimate partner violence. Teenage pregnancy and childbirth often cause girls to drop out of school, jeopardizing their education and future employment opportunities (WHO, 2020).
At decision points in their lives, young people are vulnerable to sexual harassment and coercion, which are some of the factors that influence teenage pregnancy.
Teenage pregnancy and motherhood have implications for several different aspects of primary health care. First, the provision of health education and contraceptive services is very relevant to the prevention of unplanned pregnancies. Second, appropriate midwifery care should be provided to young people who are at high risk of complications in pregnancy and childbirth.
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According to the CDC, girls who feel sad and sad either during pregnancy or after giving birth, who are unable to tell their parents they are pregnant, or who feel scared, isolated and alone, may eventually develop depression. Without proper support from family or other adults, pregnant teens are less likely to eat well, exercise or get plenty of rest. Having at least one trusted and supportive adult—or someone close to the community, if not a family member—is invaluable in helping them get the prenatal care and emotional support they need to stay healthy during this time.
Implementing interventions to inform and empower adolescent girls; and increased educational opportunities for girls can contribute to postponing the age of marriage among girls under 18. Through education, interventions are recommended that combine curriculum-based sexuality education and the use of contraceptive education for young people. This will help reduce the number of teenage pregnancies and improve the delivery of health services to them as a means of facilitating their access to and use of contraceptive information/services, which in turn will reduce the number of teenage pregnancies.
Darroch J, Woog V, Bankole A, Ashford LS. Adding to it: The costs and benefits of meeting youth contraceptive needs. New York: Guttmacher Institute; 2016.
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Facts About Teen Pregnancy That Will Blow Your Mind
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