REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH AWARENESS (ADOLESCENT PREGNANCY)
Adolescence is the life of age of 10-19 years between childhood and adulthood. It is a period of development in humans and considered the most important time for preparing strong foundations of good health. In this phase, adolescents experience rapid physical, cognitive and psychosocial growth, build a personality and develop characteristics that stay for life. They become familiar with mature thinking, feelings, decision making and interacting with world around them.
Every year, around 21 million girls aged 15–19 years born in developing regions become pregnant and around 12 million of them give birth.
At least 777,000 births occur to adolescent girls younger than 15 years in developing countries.
Fertility rate in developing countries has declined by 11.6% over the past 20 years.
An adolescent pregnancy is a considerable problem occurring in high-, middle-, and low-income countries. Several factors contribute to adolescent pregnancies and births. In many societies, girls are forced to marry and bear children early. In some areas girls prefer to become pregnant because of educational boundaries and employment prospects. In some societies and religions motherhood is valued and marriage and childbearing is considered a very saint act.
Early pregnancies among adolescents may cause major health consequences for mothers and child both. Adolescent pregnancy and childbirth complications are the prime cause of death among girls aged 15–19 years worldwide, with the ratio of low- and middle-income countries holding 99% of global maternal deaths of women aged 15–49 years.
Adolescent mothers aged 10–19 years may face higher chances of eclampsia, puerperal endometritis and systemic infections than elderly women of 20–24 years.
Early childbearing can increase risks for newborns as well. Babies born to adolescent mothers face higher risks of low birth weight, preterm delivery and severe neonatal conditions.
In some settings, rapid repeat pregnancy is a life threatening situation for young mothers, as it presents further health risks for both the mother and the child. Due to these problems and complications people are encouraged in developed and developing countries to bring up healthy and educated daughters for health society.