As teen pregnancy rates continue to rise among adolescents in American society, there is an urgent need for more prevention programs and interventions. Many teens are unaware of the healthcare risks associated with early pregnancy. Thus, the paper will focus on the effects of teen pregnancy on adolescents and the healthcare system. It will also detail the efforts that nurses are bolstering to help prevent the rise of early pregnancy among teenagers.
History of Topic
For over 20 years, medical professionals have tried to find the most effective prevention methods to decrease teen pregnancy (2002). According to the Center for Disease Control (2015), in 2013, an estimated 273,105 babies were born to adolescents aged 15-19. Although this number is lower than past years, it still is an alarming birthrate among adolescents. Even with the development of birth control pills, the teen pregnancy rate continues to remain high. Thus, many adolescents become pregnant at an early age, which causes socio-economic and healthcare issues.
With the onset of peer pressure and the glorification of sex in the media, adolescents are even more suspectible and likely to engage in unhealthy sexual behaviors that can lead to early pregnancy and other harmful outcomes. The rise of teen pregnancy has an adverse effect on the healthcare system as teenagers are at increased risks for pre-term delivery, low birth weight and neonatal mortality (2007). Also, with the rising costs of healthcare it is difficult for teenage parents to afford adequate healthcare for their babies, which further contributes to the issue of teenage pregnancy. Ultimately, pregnant teenagers face strenuous social, economic and health challenges that have a significant impact on their long-term stability and livelihoods.
Importance of Topic
Teenage pregnancy remains a major issue in the healthcare system. Many babies born to teens are at higher risks for birth complications and negative outcomes. Thus, this places a larger burden on nurses as they are forced to deal with complicated births. It also has an economic impact on the medical field as teens are unable to afford adequate health care for their babies. Low quality health care only increases the likelihood of sick babies and children that require additional medical attention. Ultimately, the rising teen pregnancy rate adversely affects the health care system and nurse professionals due to the social, physical and economic challenges that pregnant teenagers face.
So far, medical organizations have bolstered efforts to develop prevention programs to help offset the rise of teen pregnancy. Philiber, Kaye, Herrling, & West (2002), found that the Children Aid’s Society, Carrera Program, an after-hour-school program was effective in minimizing pregnancy rates among student participants. Thus, this shows that youth intervention programs are essential to help educate adolescents on prevention methods. Also, a combination of mental health care and physical health care, which is provided by the program, is detrimental to help adolescents cope with peer pressure and prevent pregnancy (Philiber, Kaye, Herrling & West, 2002). Thus, nurses continue to develop medical programs to help educate and provide medical care to adolescents.
Essentially, teen pregnancy is a major issue in American society. Each year, many adolescents become pregnant, which greatly impacts the socio-economic and medical condition of patients and the healthcare system. Teens are at higher risk for difficult, adverse birth outcomes, which further add to the challenges that nurses face. Medical professionals are developing intervention programs to help minimize the rise of teen pregnancy. Thus, the need for more intervention and prevention programs tailored to the needs of teenagers is essential to maintaining a healthy and sustainable health care system.
- Chen, X., Wen, S.W., Fleming, N., Demisse, K., Rhoads, G., Walker, M. (2007). Teenage
pregnancy and adverse birth outcomes: A large population based retrospective cohort study. The International Journal of Epidemiology, 36(2), 368-373
- Philiber, S., Kaye, J.W., Herrling, S., & West, E. (2002). Preventing pregnancy and improving
healthcare access among teenagers: An evaluation of the children’s aid society-Carrera Program, 34(5).
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2011). Reproductive Health: Teen Pregnancy.
Retrieved June 11, 2015, http://www.cdc.gov/teenpregnancy/.