Precocious pregnancy is one that occurs in children under 19 years of age and today it continues to be a problem that mainly affects developing countries, although it is also increasing alarmingly in developed countries. And it is a problem, because there is a high mortality related to childbirth. Complications during it are the second leading cause of death among girls aged 15 to 19 worldwide.
Since 1990, policies and actions have been carried out to try to reduce teenage pregnancy, however, they are not easy actions to implement since many pregnancies are not due to the scarce sexual education that minors receive but to social factors . In other words, traditions and customs lead families to marry their daughters early, who are pressured to have children soon.
These policies have helped reduce adolescent birth rates, however, 11% of all births in the world are among minors, the figure is alarming, it is about 17 million girls under the age of 19s. Of those births, 98% occur in low- or middle-income countries.
What is the cause of early pregnancy?
- Abuse, sexual exploitation or rape.
- Early initiation of sexual intercourse.
- Influence of media.
- Poverty levels.
- High level of unschooling and few professional goals.
What risks do teenage girls face when they get pregnant? They are high-risk births and complications during them make the risk of death for mothers very high. In addition, babies of teenage mothers are 50% more likely to have prenatal death.
What solutions are proposed to avoid the problem of teenage pregnancy? The WHO together with the United Nations Population Fund propose that countries adopt measures such as:
- Education in society to reduce the number of marriages before the age of 18
- Increase the use of contraceptives to avoid the risk of unintended pregnancy.
- Create policies to protect minors against abuse and forced sexual relations
- Increase the use of prenatal, delivery and postnatal care services in adolescents.
- Promote support for the older population in order to reduce the number of pregnancies before 19 years of age.
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