Teen Pregnancy Poses Health Risks
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Statistics show that birth rates in the United States as a result of teen pregnancy are alarmingly high when compared to the rates of other developed countries.
This is a dangerous situation, often overlooked, as teenage mothers and their children face increased health risks.
Teen Pregnancy Facts
Statistics for the United States show that eleven percent of births belong to teens between the ages of fifteen and nineteen.
A better perspective on this statistic may be put in this way: there are more than eight hundred thousand teenagers getting pregnant every year, with more than four hundred thousand of these actually giving birth.
Here is another frightening statistic; one in every three teenagers will become pregnant before reaching the age of twenty.
And it only gets worse, with an additional seventeen percent of these teenage mothers having a second child approximately three years after the birth of their first child.
Here is where the increased health risks begin to show up. Compared to mothers over the age of twenty, teenage mothers have a much greater likelihood of delivering their babies prematurely.
Statistics for the year 2002 show more than seven thousand girls who gave birth under the age of fifteen were more than likely to deliver prematurely when compared to women between the ages of thirty to thirty-four. Babies born prematurely have been found to face much greater health risks, including the probability of lasting disabilities, or even death.
How The Health Of Teenage
Teen Pregnancy Prevention
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Mothers Affects Their Babies
It's no secret that there are teenagers who have unhealthy eating habits, do not regularly take vitamins, who sometimes smoke, or even do drugs and alcohol. These habits will drastically affect a baby’s health during teen pregnancy.
Studies have shown that it is a lot less likely a pregnant teenager will be able to gain the necessary, and appropriate amount of weight for a safe pregnancy. It is generally recommended, and considered healthy, for an additional twenty-five to thirty five pounds to be added during pregnancy in the teen years. Weight gain that is considerably lower has been shown to increase the chances of a baby being born underweight and with greater risk.
A disturbing connection has been made that shows teenagers who are pregnant are much more likely to smoke than women aged twenty-five and over. Statistics have shown that during 2002, more than thirteen percent of pregnant teenagers between the ages of fifteen to seventeen were smokers. Teen pregnancy for the eighteen to nineteen year old age group shows an increase to eighteen percent in the number of pregnant smokers.
Smoking during pregnancy has been proven to result in increased complications, premature birth, and even stillbirth.
Pregnant teenagers have also been shown to seek out and receive less prenatal care. In 2002, nearly seven percent of teenage mothers between the ages of fifteen to nineteen have received prenatal care that is considered late. Many have received none at all.
For a young mother,
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teen pregnancy presents a greater risk of suffering from high blood pressure and anemia, when compared to women aged twenty and above. Pregnant teenagers fifteen years of age and below are at even greater risk. Not only from experiencing the above complications, but they also may be more likely to die from pregnancy related complications when compared to mothers aged between twenty and twenty- four.
Another risk that the pregnant teenager could be facing is that of possibly contacting a sexually transmitted disease. Statistics indicate that about three million teenagers suffer from sexually transmitted diseases annually. STD includes chlamydia (this disease causes sterility), HIV (a virus that causes AIDS and could fatally affect both the infant and mother), syphilis (could lead to blindness, infant’s death, or the death of the mother).
All in all, teen pregnancy presents far more health-related risks and challenges. It's an old saying, but it certainly applies to teen pregnancy - An ounce of prevention is worth more than a pound of cure.
Carl DiNello is an Article Author whose articles are featured on websites covering the Internet's most popular topics.
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