Did you know that 3 in 10 teenage girls in the United States get pregnant at least once before they turn 20 years old, and about 25 percent of teen moms have a second child within 24 months of their first baby (11 Facts About Teen Pregnancy)? The United States has the highest rate of teenage pregnancies compared to other countries. There are many educational resources to people of all ages, and getting contraceptives with absolutely no questions. If all of this is available, then why are 20 percent per 1,000 females getting pregnant in the United States under the age of 19 (Trends in Teen Pregnancy and Childbearing)?
According to Health and Human Services, in 2016, there were 20.3 percent births for every 1,000 females ages 15 to 19, or 209,809 babies born to females in this age group (Trends in Teen Pregnancy and Childbearing). Teens aged from 15 to 19 years old account for 5.3 percent of all births in 2016. In 1991 teenage pregnancy was at a record high of 61.8 percent (Trends in Teen Pregnancy and Childbearing). Health and Human Services also stated that, in 2016, 17 percent, one in six, of births to 15 to 19-year olds were to females who already have had one or more births. Teen birth rates are very different across the region of the United States. Health and Human Services also state that, rates were the highest in the states across the southern party of the country (Trends in Teen Pregnancy and Childbearing).
In Ohio alone, the teen birth rate in 2016 was 21.8 percent per 1,000 females between the ages of 15 and 19 (Trends in Teen Pregnancy and Childbearing). All of the teen pregnancy rates include pregnancies that end in a live birth, abortion, and also miscarriages. Teen pregnancy rate has declined tremendously since 1990. In 1990, teen pregnancy was at 117.6 percent per 1,000 females between the ages 15 to 19 (Trends in Teen Pregnancy and Childbearing). According to Health and Human Services, about 77 percent of teen pregnancies are unplanned. In 2013, a majority of pregnancies to females ages 15 to 19 in the United States, ended in a live birth; 15 percent ended in a miscarriage; and 25 percent ended in abortion. The rate for teen pregnancy in the United States, in 2008 was at 40.2 percent per 1,000 females between the ages of 15 and 19, (Trends in Teen Pregnancy and Childbearing), and I was one of those females.
I was 15 years old when I became pregnant. Just like the statistics, it wasn’t planned. Even though I was taught sexual education during my freshman year, it was not too long after my freshman year in high school that I became pregnant. I was not on any type of birth control, and the boy did not use a condom. So, there was no contraceptive used to avoid pregnancy or even a sexual transmitted disease. Lucky me, I didn’t get any type of sexual transmitted disease, but not everyone gets that lucky. My parents never had the talk with me about sex or what could happen if I was to have sex. During the summer of my sophomore year, I ended up talking my mom into letting me go to London Academy, which is a homeschooling program through London. While all my friends were going to school and enjoying their high school years, I was at home, pregnant, and doing my homework through London Academy. When my friends go shopping or go to the movies, they quit asking me eventually. Since I wasn’t attending high school in person, I was slowly losing my friends one by one, because I rarely saw
them anymore. Even though teen pregnancy rates have gone down a bit since then, I think it is a big deal to teach kids and teens about different ways to reduce teen pregnancy.
There are many of different ways to prevent teenage pregnancy. The first and number one method that is 100 percent effective is sexual abstinence. This is the one and only method that guarantees no risk of pregnancy and protects both teens from getting any sexual transmitted disease. Another way to avoid teenage pregnancy is to have sex education and HIV education taught in 7th grade and again in 9th grade. As of November 1, 2018, only 24 states and the District of Columbia mandate sex education; 22 of the 24 states and the District of Columbia mandate both sex education and HIV education; and 2 of the 24 states only mandate sex education (Sex and HIV Education). One more way to avoid teenage pregnancy is birth control. There are many different types of birth controls for females. There is the implant, which is placed by a health care provider and lasts up to 3 years. With the implant, the female’s chances of getting pregnant are less than 1 out of 100 women (Preventing Teen Pregnancy).
Another birth control method is the IUD, which is also placed by a health care provider. The copper IUD lasts up to 10 years and the Progestin IUD lasts 3 to 5 years. The chances of getting pregnant with the IUD is less than 1 out of 100 females (Preventing Teen Pregnancy). Next, is the birth control pill. With the birth control pill, you’re supposed to take it at the same time each day. The female’s chances of getting pregnant on the pill are 9 out of 100 females (Preventing Teen Pregnancy). There is one birth control for the male, and that is a condom. With a condom to be 100 percent effective, the male has to use it correctly every time during sex. The chances of the female getting pregnant with the condom birth control are 18 out of 100 women (Preventing Teen Pregnancy). Condoms should always be used along with the preferred birth control to protect against sexually transmitted diseases (Preventing Teen Pregnancy).
Overall, the teenage pregnancy rate has dropped majorly since 1991, and even though the pregnancy rate in the United States, in 2016, was at 20.3 percent per 1,000 females between the ages of 15-19, we need to get that rate to drop even lower. There are many different types of birth controls to prevent teenage pregnancy, but the number one method to avoid pregnancy and avoid HIV and STD’s is abstinence. Also, all middle schools, since kids are starting things young now these days, need to have a sex & HIV education class. It also wouldn’t hurt to have the sex & HIV education class again in high school, to refresh the student’s brains. In conclusion, the teenage pregnancy rate needs to drop more, and we will get it there!
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