Teen Pregnancy

1 in 4.

That’s the statistic of teen girls who become pregnant at least once by age 20.

National Teen Pregnancy Awareness MonthMay is National Teen Pregnancy Prevention Month, so Southeast Women’s Center wants to offer facts, information, and advice regarding teen pregnancy.

According to the CDC, in 2014, there was a total of 249,078 babies born to women aged 15–19 years, which is a birth rate of 24.2 per 1,000 women. Although the percentage of pregnant teens is declining lower and lower each year, the rate of teenage pregnancy in the United States is significantly higher than in other western industrialized nations.

Statistics for Teenage Pregnancy

  • Nearly 1,700 teens aged 15-17 give birth every week
  • Around 77% percent of teenage pregnancies are unplanned
  • 15% of teen pregnancies end in miscarriage
  • 30% of teenage pregnancies end in abortion
  • Only 38% of teen mothers age 15-17 earn a high school diploma
  • 89% of teenage parents are unmarried
  • 80% of unmarried teen mothers end up on welfare
  • Daughters of teen mothers are 22% more likely than their peers to become teen mothers

Source: Martin, J. A., Hamilton, B. E., Ventura, S. J., & Osterman, M. J. K. S.C., & Mathews, T.J (2015). Births: Final data for 2014. Hyattsville, MD: National Center for Health Statistics.

Teen Pregnancy Prevention

Believe it or not, parental relationships is one of the biggest influences on whether or not a teen becomes sexually active, and as a consequence becomes pregnant. Parents rank high on the list of people to trust to give accurate information about birth control and sex. If you’re a parent, here are a few tips to help prevent teenage pregnancy among your kids:

  • Be open to have the sex talk with your teen. As long as your teen feels they can trust you, you’re likely to be the first person they will come to with questions regarding sex and birth control. Openly talking about sex in an age-appropriate manner are fundamentals to having your teen behave responsibly. Having “the talk” once, and then avoiding any and all further conversation is just a recipe for disaster. Openly talking about how you feel about sexual activity, the importance of birth control if sexually active, and the meaning of sexual relationships are important. Also, make sure to let them talk, too. Nobody likes to be lectured.
  • Be a parent, not just a friend. Even though the above tip is about being open and honest, as a parent you still have an obligation to, well, parent. Establishing rules and behavioral standards are part of that responsibility. Most teens actually prefer to know what is expected of them when it comes to their behavior, so supervise and establish said expectations. Set a reasononable curfew, get to know your teen’s friends, and make the effort to meet their friend’s parents. Setting common and reasonable expectations will allow for your teenager to respect your parental role, but still being comfortable enough to come to you about life’s questions.
  • Know what your teens are doing. In today’s society, messages about sex, pregnancy, and starting families young are everywhere, from books to tv shows, to the internet and music. Don’t be afraid to engage with your teen about what he/she thinks and whether or not they feel as thought what is being depicted is realistic.
  • Discourage serious dating. Steady relationships lead to the “next level,” which in turn can lead to pregnancy. Encourage casual dating a variety of people, which will help cut the risk. As well, take a stand against your daughter dating older men, or your son dating younger girls. Dating older, more experienced, people can lead to insecurities and peer pressure to do things one may not necessarily be ready for.
  • Remind them to live life. Encourage the importance of education, furthering studies after high school, and seeing the world. Many teenagers think that life is about starting a family early, and that doing so is their only option for life after high school. Motivate them to get involved with an extra-curricular or activity and let them see there is a whole world to see before starting a family.

Help spread awareness and talk to your teen today! If you or your teen need to seek medical advice involving the above, please don’t hesitate to contact our office.

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