Primary Author: Katlego Makhwiting
Secondary Author: Phillimon Sefake
Teenage pregnancy is when a woman under 20 gets pregnant. It usually refers to teens between the ages of 15-19. But it can include girls as young as 10. It’s also called teen pregnancy or adolescent pregnancy.
It is one of the most trending topics in high school for essays. There are so many factors contributing to teenage pregnancy, on the other hand, most people do not believe in abortion. Let us look into the factors alcohol and substance abuse, you might take it light and think it does not contribute to teen pregnancy,but what happens when one is drunk? Most people temporarily lose their minds, the following day they can’t even remember what happened, so those are the kind of people that most guys take advantage of, they end up being raped without even noticing it because they are too drunk or way too high, no protection, them boom they fall pregnant.
I think lack of school fees, lack of parental care, communication and supervision, poverty, peer pressure, non use of contraceptives, desire for a child, forced marriage, low educational level and need for dowries are the factors contributing to teenage pregnancy. In addition to higher rates of postpartum depression, teenage mothers have higher rates of depression. They also have higher rates of suicidal ideation than their peers who aren’t mothers. Teen mothers are more likely to experience post-traumatic stress disorder ( PTSD) than other teenage women as well.
Another thing is lack of knowledge on contraceptives, I mean most parents fail to sit down with their kids and teach them about the importance of contraceptives, at school they also learn about that while it’s very late and hence my biggest wish is for teachers to start teaching about those things as early as grade 5. Then there’s this one that saddens me the most, say a family looses a breadwinner, then the one left to take care of the siblings has to make a plan, then she goes around sleeping with men for money, men who refuse to use protection, and you might find out that she isn’t even using contraceptives, or she can fall pregnant deliberately with the hope of receiving child support grant to support her siblings, how painful is that.
The research says, approximately 12 million girls aged 15-19 years and at least 777,000 girls under 15 years give birth each year in developing regions. At least 10 million unintended pregnancies occurs each year among adolescent girls aged 15-19 years in the developing world. Complications during pregnancy and childbirth are the leading cause of death for 15-19 year old girls globally.
Of the estimated 5.6 million abortion that occur each year among adolescent girls aged 15-19 years, 3.9 million are unsafe, contributing to maternal mortality, morbidity and and lasting health problems. Adolescent mothers ( ages 10-19 years) face higher risks of eclampsia, puerperal endometritis, and systemic infections than women aged 20 to 24 years, and babies of adolescent mothers face higher risks of low birth weight, preterm delivery and severe neonatal conditions.
Parents and teachers must work together to educate the young girls about the importance of contraceptives, safe sex and abstinence. My dearest teens, as much as we have rights, let us let them go hand in hand with responsibilities, one is only allowed to drink alcohol at the age of 18 and responsibly too.
Thanks for reading this article let’s work together to educate girls about the importance of contraceptives, safe sex and abstinence to make our beautiful country safe to live in.
Phillimon Sefake: Literary scholar
Katlego Makhwiting: Poet Katt