Running head: Health behavior 1
Health behavior 6
October 09, 2018
Modern medicine practices have been seeking ways of preventing diseases and infections before they happen. Health behavior are the activities that lead to prevent diseases and maintain an overall healthy wellbeing. Individuals on good health behavior engage in practices that improve their health such as going to the gym, eating more fruits and vegetables, while also avoiding activities that could have severe consequences on their health such as smoking tobacco and substance abuse. Teen pregnancy integrates contraception, unprotected sex, abortion, and birth practices. This paper evaluates teenage pregnancy and why it is important for the community to address this issue and the effects it has on the health behavior of the individual.
Target Population of Teenage Pregnancy
Teen pregnancy is pregnancy in adolescent females under the age of 20 years. A female can conceive once the ovaries start producing eggs and this process can vary in different females. When a female in this age practices unprotected sex with a male, it leads to pregnancy. Teen pregnancy is strenuous on the mother of the child, both physically and mentally. Alcohol abuse and drug abuse can lead to poor decision making among teenagers and this can lead to early pregnancy. Substance abuse also leads to poor performance and truancy in schools, leading to early school dropouts. Idle teenage minds and substance abuse causes teenagers to make poor sexual choices such as unprotected sex. Early abortions are also a health behavior factor in teenage pregnancy. Unwanted pregnancies in teenagers leads to abortions that pose a threat to the life of the mother. Abortions can lead to permanent uterus damage and also lead to future infertility issues (Kost & Henshaw, 2014). In addition, the abortion poses dangerous health risks on the mother such as clots in the womb, heavy bleeding, pelvic infections, and injuries on the bladder. Unprotected sex poses the risk of contracting sexually transmitted diseases and infections. Teenagers are often misinformed on contraception methods and this leads to sexually transmitted diseases and unwanted pregnancy.
Background Information of Teenage Pregnancy Health Behaviors
In the US, almost a quarter of adolescent teenage pregnancies are terminated. They carry out abortion to conceal the shame of teenage pregnancy in their environment. They also view pregnancy as an event in their lives that would destroy their future goals and ambitions. Financial responsibility and immaturity also lead teenagers to abortion. There has been a decline in the rate of teenage pregnancy that has in turn led to decline in the rate of abortion. 25% of teenager’s contract sexually transmitted infections because of the fear of contraception measures. Others fear that using condoms will interfere with sexual pleasure or break during intercourse. As for drug and alcohol abuse, teenagers using tobacco, alcohol, and other drugs are more likely to engage in sexual activities. Teenagers that get pregnant while using drugs and alcohol are likely to continue engaging with these substances during their pregnancy, especially for teenagers below 14 years. This can cause major health complications for the mother and the child (Sedgh et al., 2015).
Importance of Addressing Teenage Pregnancy
Raising a baby requires a level of maturity and selflessness that is not present among teenagers. Bringing up a baby in a health environment contributes to the overall wellbeing of the baby. Teenage pregnancy causes mental stress on the mother and can lead to depression, anxiety attacks, and personal neglect. The main cause of unprotected sex is a lack of awareness and misinformation among teenagers. The mother is often under a lot of pressure to properly raise the child and also complete their studies. It is important for schools to educate their students on sexual health to create an awareness of the dangers that unprotected sex holds on their physical health. Teenagers with the knowledge that using condoms can protect them from unwanted pregnancy and sexual transmitted infections will make them to make better decisions. Creating awareness about contraception will get rid of myths associated with contraception measures such as risk to cancer, weight gain, and infertility (Coyle et al., 2016). The safe use of contraception will reduce the rate of abortions by reducing the rate of unwanted pregnancy all together. Parents educating teenagers on the side effects of drug and substance abuse will create an active community involvement to take control of their life decisions and not be swayed by peers.
Consequences of Teenage Pregnancy Health Behaviors on Health
Abortions among teenagers can lead to pelvic infections, excessive bleeding, and a hole in uterus that lead to infertility. Pregnant teenage mothers are also prone to high blood pressure, premature births, and increased levels of infant mortality rate (Althabe et al., 2015). Sexual diseases such as HIV/AIDS are permanent and incurable, and can lead to deterioration of the quality of life of the individual. Other sexually transmitted diseases such as syphilis and gonorrhea pose fatal consequences to the health of the individual. Alcohol and substance abuse increase the likelihood of making poor decisions that can lead to contraction of sexual diseases and unwanted pregnancy. Substance abuse also leads to addiction that deteriorates the quality of life in these individuals. Having protected sex prevents abortions, pregnancy complications, and also sexual transmitted diseases.
Although teenage pregnancy does not mean that the life of the mother has been permanently deteriorated, appropriate methods of prevention should be implemented. Engaging in health behaviors that protect the individual against teenage pregnancy should be encouraged both at home and at school. Creating awareness on ways to prevent teenage pregnancy is a better way of dealing with teenage pregnancy health related issues.
Althabe, F., Moore, J. L., Gibbons, L., Berrueta, M., Goudar, S. S., Chomba, E., … & Esamai, F. (2015). Adverse maternal and perinatal outcomes in adolescent pregnancies: The Global Network’s Maternal Newborn Health Registry study. Reproductive health, 12(2), S8.
Coyle, K., Basen-Engquist, K., Kirby, D., Parcel, G., Banspach, S., Collins, J., … & Harrist, R. (2016). Safer choices: reducing teen pregnancy, HIV, and STDs. Public health reports.
Kost, K., & Henshaw, S. (2014). US teenage pregnancies, births and abortions, 2010: National and state trends by age, race and ethnicity. New York: Guttmacher Institute.
Sedgh, G., Finer, L. B., Bankole, A., Eilers, M. A., & Singh, S. (2015). Adolescent pregnancy, birth, and abortion rates across countries: levels and recent trends. Journal of Adolescent Health, 56(2), 223-230.