Teenage pregnancy is a social evil which has serious effects on the mother as well as on the child’s health, socially as well as economically which also effect the development of a country.
It revolves around the taboo of sex education and unprotected sex among the teenagers.
Young mother face relatively high level of pregnancy complications because of physiological immaturity, inexperience associated with child care practices also influences maternal and infant health.
An early start to childbearing greatly reduces the educational and employment opportunities of women and is associated with higher levels of fertility
According to the National Family Health Survey, the Total Fertility Rate reduced from 2.2 children per woman in 2015-16 to 2.0 children per woman in 2019-21.
It was 3.4 children per woman back in 1992-93 when the first round of the survey was conducted.
While the national average of the TFR reduced in 2019-21 from 2015-16, its value marginally increased in states like Punjab, Tripura, and Tamil Nadu.
However, Kerala witnessed the highest jump in TFR from 1.56 children to 1.79 children in the latest round of the NFHS.
According to the report, the rate in 2019-21 was below the replacement level of fertility of 2.1 children per woman.
There has been a steady decline in teenage childbearing, from 7.9% in the National Family Health Survey (NFHS-4) to 6.8% (in the NFHS-5) it remains a priority area that requires to be addressed, especially since India will continue to have one of the youngest populations in the world until 2030.
Teenage pregnancy was higher in rural areas– nearly eight per cent for women aged 15-19, while the same number for women in urban settings was 3.8 per cent.
Data show that teenage pregnancy depends on multiple factors such as early marriage, schooling, socio-economic status and access to contraception.
Though, the social stigma prevails among the people about the sex education leading to unsafe sex without contraceptives which is the main cause of pregnancies among the teenagers.
Here are some of the health issues that the teenage mom as well as the infant faces:
- Adolescent mothers of the age 10–19 years face higher risks of eclampsia, puerperal endometritis and systemic infections than women aged 20–24 years, and babies of adolescent mothers face higher risks of low birth weight, preterm birth and severe neonatal condition.
- The child face behavioral problems and chronic medical conditions.
- The mother faces various mental health issues like depression due to societal pressure as well as the emotional health issues that happens during pregnancy.
- If the mother has a baby before 37 weeks or experiences complications, than it may lead to extreme mental health issues.
- Pregnant teens have a higher risk of getting high blood pressure called pregnancy-induced hypertension than pregnant women in their 20s or 30s. They also have a higher risk of preeclampsia.
- In case the mother have undergone sex during pregnancy, STDs such as chlamydia and HIV are a major concern which can infect the uterus and growing baby.