Teen pregnancy facts look at the trends that occur among teens. Girls that are having sex and get pregnant are at higher risk for STD’s, pregnancy related medical issues, and greater problems down the line. Teen pregnancy symptoms include: missing periods, change in body, change in clothing, illness that may seem like the stomach flu, failing grades and moodiness. In 2004 alone more than $9 billion in public money was spent on families with teenaged parents. The effects of teen pregnancy are felt by the community as a whole and worldwide.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) state that in 2012 more than 305 thousand babies were born to mothers aged 15 to 19 and this was considered a record low having dropped 6 percent. These statistics only account for the lives births; in total in the United States, three in 10 girls will get pregnant at least once by the age of 20. That is more than 700 thousand pregnancies each year attributed to teens. Teens are waiting longer before they have sex. Compared to teens in 1995; 19 percent of females between the ages of 15 and 19 were sexually active and between the years of 2006 and 2008 only 11 percent were sexually active. In the United States more than 30 girls age 15 to 19 per 1,000 get pregnant each year and the United Kingdom comes in second with more than 20. Switzerland has the lowest rate of teen pregnancy with only 3 in one thousand girls getting pregnant each year.
In the 70 years that teen pregnancy has been monitored it is currently considered at an all time low. Although teen pregnancy rates are declining the United States still has more teen pregnancies than most civilized countries. Girls who have sex before the age of thirteen more than likely had sex involuntarily. Those teens grow up to have a lax opinion when it comes to having sex in the future and are more likely to get pregnant. The truth is that teens are having sex at a younger age. This leaves young girls open to higher risk for STD’s and pregnancy. More than half of teens in the United States are sexually active; however only 2 percent of teens have had sex by their twelfth birthday. By the age of fifteen 16 percent of teens will have had sex, 48 percent by age 17, 61 percent by age 18, and 71 percent by age 19 will have had sex. On average most teens begin having sex around the age of 17.
Pregnancies among African-American and Hispanic teens are two and half times higher than other ethnicities. Of all the drops in statistics pregnancy rates have dropped significantly among African-American teens. Variance in the causes of teen pregnancy is to be caused by accessibility to contraceptives, education about sex and cultural viewpoints on sex.
The teen pregnancy issues are the leading cause that young girls drop out of school. It’s hard to concentrate on school if you have to care for a baby and because of that most teen moms will never earn a college degree or even a high school diploma. Only 75 percent of all teens graduate high school and less than 40 percent of teen mother’s graduate high school. Twenty-five percent of teen moms become pregnant again within 24 months of having their first baby. When women start having babies in their teens they are more likely to have multiple pregnancies. Seventeen percent of teen moms between the age of 15 and 19 who gave birth in 2013; already had another child one more at home.
Children of teen parents are 50 percent more likely to repeat a grade in school. Daughters of teen moms are more like to become pregnant as a teen themselves and sons of teen moms are more likely to end up in the prison system. Teen pregnancy affects all facets from mom, dad and children. Only 2 percent of teen fathers stick around and marry the mother. Absent teen fathers pay less than $800 a year in child support. More often than not the father is unable to pay because he does not have the money to do so. Forty-seven percent of males report that they would be very upset if they go someone pregnant and 34 percent would only be a little upset.
Women that start having babies in their teens they are more likely to be single parents. The economic hardship that mothers face due to being pregnant extends beyond their teens. Half of all mothers that receive welfare had their first child while they were in their teens. Within five years of having a baby more than 75 percent of teen mothers will need welfare. Children in a single parent home are more likely to be poor than those in a two parent home. Most families that are skating the poverty lines they usually are unable to afford good health care and many received Medicaid. These young adults have not had time to prepare to be parents; they won’t have their finances together and won’t be able to support a child physically and in many cases emotionally.
The only method that is 100 percent effective to prevent teen pregnancy is not having sex at all. Studies show that if teens are educated on abstinence they are less likely to begin having sex at all. Since the 1980s teens are more likely to use a condom. Teen girls that are on the pill are more likely to forget to take the pill. Teen girls on the pill don’t use other types of contraceptives. Teens should be educated on STD protection as well as pregnancy prevention.
Pregnancy rates are most likely declining because more than 78 percent of females and 85 percent of males report using contraceptives the first time they have sex. Contraceptive use has increased 30 percent by first time females in 1982 to 2010. T still remains that teens that are 14 years or younger are less likely to use contraceptives when they first have sex. Most teens will use a condom as a contraceptive the first time they have sex. Still 56 percent of females still report having used the withdrawal method. Only 20 percent of females report having used some method of hormone protection in conjunction with using a condom; but it is most likely the pill because only 4.5 percent of females use IUD’s and implants.
No state in the United States requires a teen to have their parents’ consent or to notify their parents if they need contraceptive services. Only Texas and Utah will require consent if state funds are used to pay for contraceptives. Four states have no laws in regards to contraceptive use and teens so courts have determined that minors have the right to privacy when they need to obtain contraceptive services. The same is said for STD services, teens do not need consent nor do they need to notify their parents.
Of the 18.9 million cases of STD’s that are reported each year teens account for 9.1 million or one-quarter. The most common STD that teens get is Trichomoniasis and Chlamydia. In 2011, 21 percent of new HIV diagnoses were young people age thirteen to twenty-four. Teens that become pregnant are at a higher risk of getting toxemia, severe anemia, premature delivery, hypertension, placenta previa or other medical problems. They are less likely to have access to good medical care or even take good care of themselves while pregnant. Teens that are pregnant may use drugs, drink alcohol or smoke tobacco while pregnant.
When teens do not have the help of their parents they are at a greater risk of not having proper prenatal care. In the first months of pregnancy prenatal care is critical; during this time the mother and the baby undergo screening and in subsequent visits the doctor monitors the baby’s growth and diagnose whether there are any complications. Teen girls without prenatal care are less likely to get adequate nutrition and prenatal Vitamins both of which are critical for baby’s growth and development.
Pregnancy induced hypertension or high blood pressure while pregnant is most common among pregnant teens than older women. They are also at a greater risk to develop preeclampsia. Preeclampsia is a dangerous medical condition that affects pregnant women; sufferers have blood in their urine, exceedingly high blood pressure, swollen hands, face and legs; and organ damage. Medication can be given to control the symptoms but without proper medical care pregnant teens won’t get the medical attention they need.
Premature birth and low birth weight babies are common among teens that give birth. A full tem pregnancy last 40 weeks and a premature (“preemie”) pregnancy occurs when a women delivers before 37 weeks. When babies are born early they are at risk for respiratory problems, other issues include: cognitive, digestive, vision and other problems. Premature babies usually weigh less than 5.5 pounds and a very low birth weight baby will weigh less than 3.3 pounds. These babies will need to be hospitalized in the neonatal unit to help them breathe.
Babies who are born to a teen mother are at higher risk of having medical problems as well. Some will be born with low birth weight due to improper care of the mother or the baby maybe born early. The younger the mother the more at risk the child will be, and there is a chance that the baby may die within the first year of life. Babies born to young teen moms and are born premature are more likely to have disabilities.
Thirty-eight percent of females and Thirty-one percent of males state that the most common reason they remain abstinent is because it is against their religion or for moral reasons. The second reason most teens give is because they don’t want to get or get someone pregnant. In contrast, most teens state that they have abortions because they are afraid that a baby will change their lives, don’t feel they are ready for a baby, and cannot afford to take care of a baby. Only 38 percent of the 50 states require minors involve their parents when having an abortion. Five percent of all abortions involve minors.
It’s no surprise that teens do not plan to get pregnant and many do so by accident or not being well educated. Eighty-two percent of all pregnancies are unintentional; that is 20 percent of all pregnancies. Most of these teens are between 18 and 19 years old. New Mexico has the highest number of teens pregnancies in 2010; more than 80 pregnancies were reported per 1,000 women. Mississippi, Texas, Arkansas, Louisianan and Oklahoma follow while New Hampshire is the lowest with 28 pregnancies reported per 1,000 women.
The rate of teen pregnancy has declined 42 percent since 1990 and trends in unplanned pregnancy for those under the age of 20 have seen some impressive drops in their numbers. The President’s Teen Pregnancy Prevention Initiative (TPPI) couples the CDC and the Federal Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health (OASH) in an effort to reduce teen pregnancy. These teen pregnancy programs address the disparities that are found in high risk areas. They have four main ways to prevent teen pregnancy:
- They aim to reduce the pregnancy rates in communities with the highest rates and birth to those youth.
- Increase the amount of information that teens in these communities have access to.
- Link together community based prevention services with prevention programs in these high risk areas.
- Provide evidenced based information and strategies plus needs and resources in an effort to reduce teen pregnancy.
Nine states and community based organizations have been designated high risk: Alabama, Georgia, Massachusetts, New York, South Carolina, Texas, Connecticut (Hartford), and Philadelphia (Pennsylvania). With the help of the partnership from 2011 to 2015 they expect reduce the number of teens giving birth by 10 percent, reduce teen pregnancy, decrease the number of teens having sex in general, and educate teens on using methods of contraception.
Educating teens in these areas will have an overall impact in these high risk areas significantly. Parent involvement also makes a large impact on the number of teens that are having sex and getting pregnant. Parents who have an open line of communication and talk to their children about sex and the dangers involved in having sex at young age including pregnancy helps reduce the number of teens at risk.