Running head: TEEN PREGNANCIES
Teen pregnancies have continued to affect society in a negative way globally. WHO report (2020) indicates that there is an increase in teen pregnancies in developing countries at an alarming rate and has shown that relevant authorities must take the necessary strategies to minimize teen pregnancies in the affected countries to save the lives of young individuals. Preventing such cases is essential to enabling young adolescents to continue their studies without interruption. A health promotion plan for teen pregnancies involves engaging and empowering individuals in the community to make proper changes to mitigate the situation. Preventing teenage pregnancy is important because it contains long-term effects associated with pregnant young girls (WHO, 2022). There is a need to have health literacy where the health care plan addresses the causes, consequences, risks, and strategies for preventing teenage pregnancies.
The contributing factors to teenage pregnancies include lack of information, family, and community pressure to marry, and even sexual violence. The lack of knowledge provides a lack of formal and informal education concerning sexual reproduction. Reproductive health is vital to every individual, and the lack of information leads to an informed decision among teenagers, which becomes costly (Mohr, Carbajal & Sharma, 2019). For example, the parents provide informal education where they communicate openly with their children concerning dating and intimacy. The lack of contraception increases the chances of teenagers getting pregnant when they are sexually active. Young girls from low-income families face a lack of education since their families cannot support or pay fees for them. Other factors, such as cultural norms, force teenagers into early marriages where they become mothers young, such as in Indian communities (Mohr, Carbajal & Sharma, 2019). Therefore, causes of teenage pregnancies include inadequate information, pressure from communities and families to marry at an early age, and sexual violence against teenagers.
Addressing the effects of adolescent pregnancies enables one to understand the impact one will face if they do not take the necessary precautions. WHO report (2022, indicates that teenage pregnancies increase child and maternal mortality. The health risks are due to the immature bodies of the teenagers leading to the mothers becoming prone to diseases such as eclampsia and puerperal endometriosis (WHO, 2022). There are such economic consequences due to the lack of education among teenagers who later cannot find jobs and provide for their families. There are also unsafe abortions because the pregnancies are often unintended and can cause death. The families and communities of unmarried pregnant teenagers face rejection and stigmatization (WHO, 2022). Education is interrupted, such as when they are married off young and forced to care for their children instead of proceeding with their studies. As a result, the effects of early pregnancies for teenagers include a high mortality rate for children and their mothers, dropping out of school, unsafe abortions, and stigma from peers and parents.
The risk factors are issues that increase the probability of teenage pregnancies, including high poverty levels, frequent family conflicts, and drug abuse at an early age. Young girls from families with high poverty levels are at an increased risk of teenage pregnancies due to early marriages since their families cannot cater to their needs. The lack of resources and support from the family creates the perception of limited financial and educational opportunities leading to motherhood being the only option for having a purpose (Mohr, Carbajal & Sharma, 2019). The family should build a child’s standard behaviors. Failure to gain such support can lead to rebellion in teenagers and misguided dating advice or influence from their peers. Drug abuse leads to risky behaviors, including increased sexual activity leading to pregnancies and even sexually transmitted diseases (WHO, 2022). Hence, the risk factors include poverty in families, drug abuse, and unstable homes, which compels teenagers to engage in unruly behaviors and misguided decision-making.
Communication between teenagers about sex and healthy relationships with their parents can also assist. Parents are essential to children’s development and talking honestly and openly can help them make healthy choices. Research indicates that parents are critical to teens’ decisions about sex and relationships (OASH, 2022). Frequent and judgment-free communication with the children helps counter any misguided information produced through social media. Without the parent’s guidance, the media can mislead teenagers into irresponsible behaviors. Their parents must show the teenagers that the future is more attractive than early parenthood, giving these children a meaningful goal and how to use their free time. So, open communication with parents can help teenagers make better decisions concerning sex and relationships.
The high number of teenage pregnancies requires immediate intervention. Teenage pregnancies increase poverty levels through high school drop-out cases and financial dependence on parents. Most teenage pregnancies happen to school-going children. Implementing the SMART goals will help minimize teenage pregnancies in society.
I will engage parents and healthcare workers to educate teenagers on reproductive health to minimize the teenage pregnancy rate by 50%. Parents will have interactive sessions with their teenage children to teach them the risk of engaging in irresponsible sexual behaviours. The healthcare workers will hold health awareness programs in schools to counsel teenagers about sexual activities (Banigan, 2018). Support from parents and medical professionals will minimize teenage pregnancy.
Parents will have sexual reproductive health sessions with their teenage children twice weekly. They should educate their children six times a month. The healthcare workers will organize reproduction education sessions at least once a week. They must interact with the school-going teenagers at least three times a month. The teenagers will be able to ask for important medical information from the healthcare officers.
I possess excellent nursing and communication skills. My nursing knowledge will help me to be part of the healthcare workers who will provide productive health education to teenagers in schools. The communication skills will help me to share with parents the relevant information regarding the risk of their teenage children participating in reckless sexual behaviors (Banigan, 2018). I believe I will reduce teenage pregnancy by more than 25% in six months.
I am committed to reducing the effects of teenage pregnancies in society. Teenage pregnancies increase the transmission rates of infections such as HIV, syphilis, and gonorrhea. They cause family conflicts as teenagers’ parents face financial costs related to born or unborn grandchildren. Teenage pregnancies increase poverty levels as young mothers exit school to take care of their children without the necessary employability skills. Unsafe abortions that increase mortality rates among teenagers are rampant due to teenage pregnancy. Teenage pregnancies cause psychological distress that contributes to young mothers engaging in drug abuse to overcome emotional trauma (Hadley, 2018). I consider teenage pregnancies manageable to avoid their adverse effects on adolescents, families, and societies.
I expect to reduce the annual teenage pregnancy rates by half in one year. I will require enthusiastic support from parents and healthcare professionals. The teenagers will have interactive medical experts and parents to inform them of the risks of engaging in reckless sexual behaviors. The interactive sessions will educate teenagers to manage their sexual urges to reduce pregnancies that interfere with academic and life goals (Hadley, 2018). Parents will get the opportunity to bond with their teenagers, increasing their vulnerability to identify any romantic relationships that increase teenage pregnancy cases easily. The teenagers will be able to reflect and educate their younger siblings on the importance of reproductive sexual behaviours. The information sharing will create a culture whereby all teenagers have reproductive health knowledge to reduce teenage pregnancy (Hadley, 2018). Teenagers should demonstrate a willingness to follow the reproductive health information.
The SMART goals in teenage pregnancy prevention are highly essential. They provide a specific timeline to achieve the annual reduction rate in teenage pregnancy cases. Support from parents and medical officers must impart reproductive health knowledge to teenagers. The adverse effects of teenage pregnancies are clearly explained in interactive sessions. Reproductive health information is crucial in reducing teenage pregnancy cases.
Health care providers also need to contribute to giving reproductive health services effectively. The health care providers can offer information to clients about family planning and preventive health services. There is also a canceling the adolescents about sexually risky behaviors and sexually transmitted diseases. Health care providers can also locate educational opportunities and find teaching tools to help provide more information and accessible youth centers (OASH, 2022). Thus, healthcare providers can contribute by providing insight to clients about family planning and preventive healthcare services for teenagers.
The community can also contribute by implementing evidence-based practice prevention programs. Prevention programs are effective, as reports indicate, in reducing risky behaviors and teen pregnancies in the community. The community can also emphasize social and emotional competencies, communication skills, and positive bonding experiences with adult role models (OASH, 2022). The environment can influence teenagers, and having role models who can help them keeps them focused and have self-determination. Schools and organizations are also encouraged to ensure they have appropriate resources and training materials to promote reduced sexual risky behaviors (OASH, 2022). Hence, the community can implement evidence-based practice prevention programs accessible to every teenager and provide positive bonding experiences with adult role models, which help them keep focus and determination in matters such as study goals.
Health literacy is required to promote better health by addressing the causes and effects of risk factors and strategies for preventing teenage pregnancies, which helps prevent adolescent pregnancies. Preventing teenage pregnancies requires collective action from society, healthcare providers, parents, and the community in which the children grow. One of the most effective ways to avoid unwanted teenage pregnancies is abstinence from sexual activity. Sexually active teenagers must use effective contraception such as birth control pills, condoms, and injectable birth control techniques. Ensuring that teenagers learn about birth control can prevent unwanted pregnancies. Providing such knowledge in school programs can help protect teenagers from sexually transmitted diseases through the use of condoms in the proper manner. Teenagers getting adequate parental guidance can also ensure they do not engage in risky behaviors due to peer pressure.
Mohr, R., Carbajal, J., & Sharma, B. (2019). The influence of educational attainment on teenage pregnancy in low-income countries: A systematic literature review. Journal of Social Work in the Global Community, 4(1). doi: 10.5590/jswgc.2019.04.1.02
OASH. (2022). Strategies and approaches for prevention | HHS Office of Population Affairs. Retrieved 4 October 2022, from https://opa.hhs.gov/adolescent-health/reproductive-health-and-teen-pregnancy/strategies-and-approaches-prevention#:~:text=Foradolescentswhoaresexually,reducechancesofunwantedpregnancy.
OASH. (2022). Talk to your kids about sex and healthy relationships – MyHealthfinder | health.gov. Retrieved 4 October 2022, from https://health.gov/myhealthfinder/healthy-living/sexual-health/talk-your-kids-about-sex-and-healthy-relationships
WHO. (2022). Adolescent pregnancy. Retrieved 4 October 2022, from https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/adolescent-pregnancy#:~:text=Adolescentmothers(aged1019,birthandsevereneonatalcondition.
Banigan, M. (2018). Coping with teen pregnancy. The Rosen Publishing Group.
Hadley, A. (2018). Teenage pregnancy and young parenthood: Effective policy and practice. Taylor & Francis Group.