In 2017 Highland County is ranked number 29 among the 88 Ohio counties in teen pregnancy. Teen pregnancy is closely linked to a host of critical social issues – poverty and income, overall child well-being, out-of-wedlock births, responsible fatherhood, health issues, education, child welfare, and other risky behavior. Consequently, teen pregnancy should be viewed not only as a reproductive health issue, but how it affects our community and how we can work to stop the cycle of these events.
Unplanned pregnancies among teens are frequently resolved by abortion. Teens and their families are vulnerable to social pressure that leads them into hasty, devastating decisions.
A planned or unplanned pregnancy can be a scary event. At the SOPC we want to support the client in every situation. We have counselors and resources available for everyone involved to help them sort out their feelings and think through their options.
Causes and Effects of Teen Pregnancy
A teenage girl may become pregnant as a result of many different situations. Some teenage girls become pregnant while involved in long-term dating relationships. Other girls become pregnant after hooking up. And, some girls may become pregnant as a result of rape.
All teen pregnancies are the result of sexual activity, whether voluntary or involuntary. No matter what measures are taken for birth control, the only 100% effective way to prevent pregnancy is to abstain from all sexual activity. Only abstinence is guaranteed not to cause teen pregnancy.
Common methods of birth control include:
- the birth control pill or patch
- intrauterine devices (IUD)
- the Depo-Provera injection
- cervical caps
Each of these birth control methods can fail even when used correctly. However, studies show that teens are more likely to use birth control methods improperly, leading to a higher likelihood that they may fail and cause a teen pregnancy to occur.
Effects of Pregnancy on Teens
Facing an unplanned teen pregnancy can be hard. The effects of teen pregnancy are not limited to having to decide whether or not to keep the baby, how to cope with motherhood or whether to make an adoption plan. One of the most immediate effects of teen pregnancy is how the growing baby changes a teenager's body as well as her lifestyle.
Because a teen's body immediately begins the process of carrying a child and preparing for childbirth, a teenager needs to consider the effect that her physical activities may have on her developing baby. A variety of activities common to teens may have a negative effect on a developing baby:
- Drinking alcoholic beverages
- Smoking cigarettes or marijuana
- Lack of sleep
- Unhealthy eating patterns
Other physical changes that take place as her uterus expands may impact things as simple as clothing choices or her ability to safely participate in sports. This means that an average teenage girl will need to speak with her doctor about what activities need to be limited during her pregnancy as well as what changes she might need to make to her diet.
Emotional Effects of Teen Pregnancy
Dealing with an unplanned pregnancy can be scary and confusing. Some of the emotions that may be encountered when facing an unplanned pregnancy are: