National Teen Pregnancy Prevention Month is observed in May, a time to help youths fully understand pregnancy so they can make informed decisions about their future. Teen pregnancy refers to pregnancy in a female under the age of 20. It has significant social and financial consequences. It also has immediate and long-term consequences for both teen parents and their children. The U.S. has one of the highest teen pregnancy rates in the world. This month seeks to educate teens about the dangers of unsafe sex and the risk of unwanted teen pregnancy.
History of National Teen Pregnancy Prevention Month
Teens are more likely to make good decisions when they and their parents talk about relationships and things related to sex. Teens who report having frequent talks with their parents about sex are more likely to use birth control methods when they finally become sexually active, according to studies. Studies also show that these teenagers desire to know how their parents feel about intimacy and relationships.
Teenage pregnancy (conceptions often involving females between the ages of 16 and 19) was significantly more prevalent in past centuries and was especially common in industrialized nations in the 20th century. By the early 1970s, roughly a quarter of Norwegian women born in the early 1950s had become teenage moms. Since that time, however, rates have progressively decreased throughout the industrialized world. Fewer than 10% of those born in Norway in the late 1970s became teenage moms, but the rates have declined since then.
The Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Act of 1996, which became the foundation for drafting policies on teenage pregnancy prevention in the United States and the basis of the National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy (now known as Power to Decide), sought to reduce the number of young black and Hispanic single mothers living on welfare.
Many of the same pregnancy-related difficulties affect pregnant teens as they do other mothers. Under the age of 15, girls have much to worry about since they are less likely to be physically mature to sustain a successful pregnancy or give birth. For girls aged 15 to 19, the biological influences of age are less important than socioeconomic variables. Low birth weight, early labor, anemia, and preeclampsia are linked to biological age since they are seen in adolescent deliveries even if other risk factors like access to prenatal care are taken into account.
National Teen Pregnancy Prevention Month timeline
Government policy on teenage pregnancy prevention is founded on the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Act, which seeks to reduce the number of young black and Hispanic single mothers on welfare.
The teen pregnancy rate among African-American and Hispanic females aged 15 to 19 is more than two and a half times that among white females belonging to the same age group.
According to the National Campaign, public spending on adolescent pregnancy in 2010 is anticipated to exceed $9.4 billion.
The teen birth rate in the United States plummets to its lowest level in over 70 years of tracking cases of pregnant teenagers.
National Teen Pregnancy Prevention Month FAQs
Why is teenage pregnancy life-threatening?
Preeclampsia (high blood pressure caused by pregnancy) is more common in teenagers than in women of reproductive age. It can potentially affect a girl’s kidneys endangering her and her child. Premature birth and low birth weight are also common life-threatening conditions.
What is the primary cause of teenage pregnancy?
In underdeveloped nations where family income, imbalance of power, the absence of access to contraception, and girls’ level of education are major issues, almost 90% of girls aged 15 to 19 become pregnant. In developed countries, social and economic inequality and societal attitudes toward sexuality and adolescents significantly affect teenagers’ reproductive behavior.
When is the best time to get pregnant?
According to experts, it is best that a woman get pregnant between her late 20s and early 30s.
How to Observe National Teen Pregnancy Prevention Month
Educate yourself and others around you
Read up on teen pregnancy and help others learn more about it. During this month, there are several awareness conferences and virtual activities you may attend.
Raise people’s awareness about teen pregnancy
Pregnancies in females under the age of 18 have irreversible repercussions. Such conditions infringe on the rights of girls, with potentially fatal repercussions for their sexual and reproductive health. The social cost on impoverished families and communities is substantial because it prolongs the poverty cycle.
Take part in online events
Check out online podcasts and live workshops that educate the public about teen pregnancy. Throughout May, healthcare practitioners provide a variety of these online events.
5 Facts About Teen Pregnancy In The U.S.
About 750,000 teenage pregnancies occur
Every year in the U.S., about 750,000 teenage pregnancies occur — three out of 10 girls get pregnant before they’re 20.
More than 50% drop out of school
Parenthood is the most common reason 50% of young girls drop out of school.
Within 24 months
Approximately 25% of teen mothers have a second child within 24 months of the birth of their first.
A few finish college by 30
Less than 2% of teen mothers are able to earn a college degree by the age of 30.
Most teen mothers live on welfare
Two-thirds of all families started by young, unmarried mothers are impoverished and dependent on government assistance.
Why National Teen Pregnancy Prevention Month is Important
It generates public awareness
Education and awareness help prevent this social phenomenon. For many teenage girls, the lack of information has life-threatening consequences regarding their sexual and reproductive health.
It removes the stigma
This week-long event helps educate and create a platform for the discussion of women's health. It also helps break the stigma often attached to pregnant teenagers.
It urges girls to look after themselves
It raises the awareness level among young girls regarding reproductive health issues. It likewise reminds them of the consequences of early sex and out-of-wedlock pregnancy, and the social cost of single-parent homes. It also helps them think of the more important things — getting an education, fulfilling a dream (landing a job that fits their qualifications and skills or starting a business), and helping those in need.
National Teen Pregnancy Prevention Month dates