Teenage Pregnancy and Religion

Pregnancy statistics show a link between teenage pregnancy and religion. Despite the fact that many religions encourage abstinence and saying no to premarital sex among teens, the teenage pregnancy rate is actually higher in states with a stronger religious presence.

However, there could be several reasons for this. Other pregnancy statistics show an increase in births in states where there is more conservative religious beliefs. These statistics also hold true for the number of teens giving birth. There are a few different explanations to describe the strong connection between teenage pregnancy and religion. Some researchers believe that communities in which there is a strong religious belief among the majority of the residents, birth control and the use of contraceptives is frowned upon. Teens in these communities might be more reluctant to talk to their parents about getting access to birth control. They might also be hesitant to try and purchase condoms at the local convenience store out of fear that someone might see them and the news getting back to their parents.

Teenage Pregnancy and Religion:

Many studies suggest that the link between teenage pregnancy and religion indicate that religious teens are having sex more often than non-religious teens. However, that may not be the case. It could simply be that religious teens are not using protection as much as non-religious teens that are having sex. The other explanation is that the number of teens having sex might be close to the same in every state, but the number of teens terminating the pregnancy before giving birth might be higher in non-religious states. Many religions frown on purposeful termination of pregnancy – abortion. This might lead to more teens carrying the baby to full term and delivering the baby instead of terminating it early on in the pregnancy.

Many religious states might also focus more on abstinence-only sex education instead of sex education surrounding the realities of teen sex, teen pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases.  Because of this attitude toward abstinence and against contraception use, these religious cultures could be leading more teens toward unsafe sexual practices indicating the link between teenage pregnancy and religion.

In fact, teen pregnancy statistics do show higher numbers of abortion rates in less-religious states. Other factors to consider with this link between teenage pregnancy and religion include other aspects of the teens’ background, race, culture and socioeconomic background – all factors that can play a role in whether or not a teen is having sex, having safe sex or practicing abstinence. These practices are the link to the rates of teenage pregnancy. With about three out of every 10 teens getting pregnant each year, the numbers of teen pregnancies are still high in the United States, although have somewhat stabled in recent years.

Some researchers attribute the cause and effect idea to the link between teenage pregnancy rates in general or among those religious teens. Some teens will promise themselves to remain a virgin until marriage. However, in the heat of the moment decide to go ahead and have sex with their boyfriend or girlfriend. Because they are unprepared to have sex, but go for it anyway, they are taking that chance that their sexual intercourse could result in a teen pregnancy.

There might also be a link between religious teens that tend to get married at a younger age, around 17-20 compared with non-religious teens. These teens who are married might have planned pregnancies, but fall into the category for a teen pregnancy because of their age. Regardless of the reason, there is a clear link between teenage pregnancy and religion.

To prevent teen pregnancy it is important for teens and their parents to be realistic about the possibility of teens having sex. Knowing how to practice safe sex is one of the best ways to prevent teens from continuing to get pregnant. Teens need to consider learning about the resources available to practice safe sex with contraception even if they are worried about the religious implications. Practicing safe sex, or finding ways to stay abstinent from teen sexual intercourse can help the teen pregnancy rate continue to decline.

Sources: msnbc.com, nytimes.com

Teenage Pregnancy and Miscarriage

When it comes to teenage pregnancy and miscarriage, it is important to know that about 15 to 25 percent of teen pregnancies may result in a miscarriage. There are many reasons for this. There are several reasons for teenage pregnancy and miscarriage. Keep reading to learn more.

According to teenage pregnancy and miscarriage statistics, about 900,000 teen girls get pregnant each year in the United States. Out of this number, about 15 percent of these teens miscarry the pregnancy. Because of the type of nutrients that many teens are lacking and the amount of developing and growth they still have to go, some teens really struggle to maintain a healthy pregnancy, which is why so many teens pregnancies result in a miscarriage. Other effects of teen pregnancy include teen mothers that are more likely to deliver the baby prematurely and have lower birth weight babies with other risks of infant death, mental and physical handicaps, mental illness, blindness, deafness and other permanent problems.  Because it takes a while for teens to know they are pregnant and they might engage in risky behaviors in the first few weeks of pregnancy. Teens who engage in smoking, underage drinking and other risky behaviors like unprotected sex (contracting sexually transmitted diseases) and even in drug use, are more likely to miscarry the baby early on in the pregnancy because the teen likely didn’t know she was pregnant.

Teenage Pregnancy and Miscarriage:

Because teens might engage in risky behaviors early in pregnancy, they are more likely to miscarry the baby because the nutrients are not enough to sustain a healthy pregnancy and result in a healthy baby. There are also lots of pregnancies that end in miscarriage for unknown reasons for even mothers that are older than their teen years. Unfortunately many miscarriages can occur for unknown genetic or chromosomal reasons. Many teens might have irregular periods and menstrual cycles because they are so new to entering their fertile age as teens, that they don’t know when they can expect their next period. The teens may go weeks without having a period simply because they are usually irregular anyway. By the time the teen realizes it has been weeks or even months since their missed period, they are already several weeks or months along in the pregnancy.

Teenage Pregnancy and Miscarriage Complications:

If the pregnancy ends within the first 20 weeks of pregnancy, this is considered to be a spontaneous abortion (miscarriage). Miscarriage is often the most common type of pregnancy loss. However, most miscarriages occur within the first 12 weeks of pregnancy (the first trimester). There are certain occasions of a miscarriage that can present problems and concerns to the mother’s health as well, especially for teen girls who are not fully developed. That is why it is important to be aware of the warning signs of a miscarriage, so you can consult your heath care provider as soon as possible to make sure your miscarriage does not present any dangers to you as the mother including excessive bleeding, hemorrhaging, losing consciousness or having a blog clot.

Certain types of miscarriage like having a blighted ovum (anembryonic pregnancy), ectopic pregnancy and a molar pregnancy can present health risks to the mother when the mother goes through the miscarriage. The ectopic pregnancy if not treated right away, can result in a ruptured tube, which is because the egg implants and fertilizes in the fallopian tube instead of the uterus. When this occurs, it can cause the tube to rupture and excessive internal bleeding that can kill the mother.

Being aware of these signs to prevent a dangerous miscarriage is important for those teens and pregnant women that are pregnant:

  • Mild to severe back pain (worse than normal period cramps)
  • Weight loss
  • White or pink mucus
  • True labor contractions
  • Brown or bright red bleeding, even without cramps
  • Sudden decrease in pregnancy symptoms
  • Tissue with clots passing from the uterus

Women with miscarriages are often reviewed and examined by a doctor with an ultra sound and blood tests to ensure the fetal tissue has passed. If it hasn’t, a dilation and curettage (D&C) is performed to remove the rest of the tissue. Women are often monitored afterward to ensure there is not excessive bleeding. If the bleeding does occur on an excessive level, it is important to talk to your doctor right away.

americanpregnancy.org, intheknowzone.com

Teenage Pregnancy and Divorce

The numbers between teenage pregnancy and divorce often correlate, unfortunately for those pregnant teens that get married young. According to the teenage pregnancy and divorce rates, men and women that marry as teens are more likely to get divorced than couples that are over the age of 25 at the time of marriage.

Typically the first marriage for teen women under the age of 18 are more likely to end in divorce within the first 10 years of marriage than to succeed. Add a teen pregnancy to the mix, and the likelihood of divorce taking place is even higher among those young teen marriages. The correlation between teenage pregnancy and divorce indicates that the stress of marrying so young, on top of dealing with a teen pregnancy is one of the biggest factors in causing such a young marriage to struggle and fail to succeed.

According to teenage pregnancy statistics from a study done by  the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 48 percent of those who marry before age 18 are more likely to divorce within 10 years of marriage. There is only a 24 percent divorce rate for those who marry after the age of 24. Because marriage requires partners to be less selfish and more giving of themselves and their time, this is not the ideal personality of a teenager. Teens are notoriously self-centered and likely to look out for their own best interests. Unfortunately this way of thinking is a breeding ground for divorce in a marriage.

Teenage Pregnancy and Divorce:

There are quite a few different reasons that contribute to the high correlation between teenage pregnancy and divorce. First, it is a struggle for any couple to have their first baby. Having children is already a stressful cause to any marriage, even for those who get married at an older age. Add the maturity level of a teen or young adult trying to take care of a baby, find fiscal responsibility and maintain a successful relationship with their spouse, the combination can be extremely tumultuous.

In past decades, teens who got pregnant were encouraged to make the “responsible” decision and get married for the sake of the baby. However, in many situations the teens were not truly in love and did not know or understand what it took to make a serious relationship like marriage work on top of trying to emotionally and financially prepare for having a baby and a family. The financial stress of trying to take care of a baby, affording rent or a place to live and purchasing food and other living expenses can quickly take a toll on a young marriage.

As studies on teenage pregnancy and divorce show, teens are not fully developed in their own self-identity. They go through such a vast period of growth and change during that transition from being a teen to an adult that so much about their life, interests and expectations for the future can change, which can cause major differences between them and their spouse. Trying to handle a young infant on top of all of that is just more stress to an already stressful situation.


The first key in preventing too young of marriage and divorce statistics is to work toward preventing teen pregnancy in the first place. By eliminating this factor, teens are more likely to wait longer to get married until they have figured out what they are going to do post high school like go to college, get certified in some job/career area, etc. Because of this teens are more likely to succeed financially and in their futures, get married later and have a more successful marriage and family life.

Ultimately because so many schools take an abstinence-only approach to sexual education, it is important for parents to take an active role in talking to their teens about preventing unintended pregnancy, as well as sexually transmitted diseases, through safe sex measures, condom use and birth control.

According to the teen pregnancy and divorce statistics from the CDC, it is also more likely to have teen pregnancy occur in families where the parents are divorced. Divorced or not, it is important for parents to continue to talk to their teens about safe sex and how to properly prevent pregnancy. Unfortunately teen moms who get married young and possibly divorce are also more likely to have their own children become pregnant as teens as well. It is a vicious cycle that needs to be stopped through proper education from the parents.

Sources: cdc.gov, divorce360.com

Teenage Pregnancy and Birth Defects

There are several birth defects that are associated with teenage pregnancy due to several different connections with the behaviors and choices of teenagers.

Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASDs)

Both because teens may be less attuned to the signs that could let them know they are pregnant and because the same risk-taking behavior that could lead a teen girl to engage in unprotected sex could also lead her to alcohol consumption while pregnant, Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder for her unborn child might be a result.

The symptoms of FASD include head and facial structure abnormalities; low body weight and lower than average height; a lack of physical coordination; problems with attention, poor memory, reasoning, and judgment; hyperactivity; learning disabilities and low IQ; physical problems with sight, hearing, the heart or kidneys, and the skeletal structure.

Drinking alcohol while pregnant can also lead to miscarriage or stillbirth. The fact is, there is no known amount or timing of alcohol consumption during pregnancy that is safe, and since consuming alcohol while pregnant is the cause, the prevention is completely clear: avoiding alcohol when pregnant.

Neural Tube Defects (NTDs)

In a planned pregnancy, a woman is advised to start taking prenatal vitamins that include folic acid about three months prior to attempting to get pregnant and to continue taking them during pregnancy. Folic acid is also added to breakfast cereals. Folic acid is known to play a significant role in the prevention of neural tube defects, the most common of which are spina bifida and anencephaly.

However, in unplanned pregnancies, which accounts for many pregnancies of teens, the run-up to pregnancy by preparing with vitamins isn’t undertaken. In addition, teens may be less likely to eat any breakfast (let alone one including the fortified cereals) and less likely to recognize that she is pregnant and seek regular prenatal care that would alert her to the need for folic acid in her diet.

In a case of spina bifida, the spinal column of the fetus doesn’t completely close during the first month of pregnancy, which usually results in nerve damage with some paralysis of the legs. In a case of anencephaly, large portions of the brain do not develop, and as a result, the baby will either be stillborn or die soon after birth.

Low Birth Weight (LBW) and Associated Birth Defects

Teen pregnancy is a risk factor for low birth weight, which is associated with risks of:

• autism spectrum disorders, a type of pervasive developmental disorder that includes abnormal development of social interaction and communication, as well as limited interest range and repetitive behaviors

  • bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD), a chronic lung disease
  • cerebral hemorrhage, a problem of bleeding in the cerebrum
  • cerebral palsy, the result of abnormal development or damage to the brain’s motor control centers
  • deafness, the diminishment or absence of the ability to hear
  • epilepsy, a variety of disturbances to the electrical activity of the brain that may cause physical or perceptual symptoms or loss of consciousness
  • mental retardation, a disability characterized by limitation in intellectual function
  • premature birth
  • retinopathy, a disease of the retina that is not inflammatory



Teenage Pregnancy and Abortion

New statistics released in recent years are showing a possible correlation between teenage pregnancy and abortion rates. While the number of unintended pregnancies is lower than it was in the 1990s among teens, the rates in teenage pregnancy and abortion are beginning to climb.

According to teen pregnancy statistics released by the Guttmacher Institute, a reproductive health organization, the number of teen pregnancies each year is at about 71.5 pregnancies for every 1,000 teen females. These numbers also reveal that while the numbers of teens in minority groups ending their pregnancies in abortion is going down, the overall trend of abortion rates are going up, at least one percent, among girls ages 15 to 19.

Teenage pregnancy and abortion statistics:

While the numbers of unintended teen pregnancies has risen about three percent since 2006, and the substantial decline in teen pregnancy between 1990 and 2006, the current number teen pregnancies is possibly starting to decline again. However, the numbers seem to be at  a standstill currently. Researchers are unsure if the slow start to the decline of the number of teenage pregnancies could be a correlation to the increase in abortions, or if the abstinence-only sex education is finally beginning to work.

Overall, the number of teens having sex in general is beginning to decline, according to new numbers released by the Centers for Disease Control with about 70 percent of all teens having sex before age 19. This is at about a four percent decline, according to the new 2011 studies on teen sexual behaviors. Some researchers believe that while teens are not having as much sex, the teen pregnancy rate and abortion rate has not dropped enough to correlate that teen sex education courses can be responsible for the decline. In fact, it seems likely that teens are having less sex, but the teens that are still having sex are not going about it as safely. The number of sexually transmitted diseases are also up among teens age 15 to 19.

The reasons behind teenage pregnancy and abortion rates:

Researchers for the Guttmacher Institute have concluded that increased spending on abstinence-only education – $176 million in 2008 – is not worth the dollars being poured into such a type of education for teens. Overall data supports that while pregnancies carried to full term may be going down, abortions are not, which can leave one to conclude that teens are still getting pregnant. However, some researchers simply feel that organizations like Guttmacher are just looking for an excuse to take aims at abstinence education in the public school system. According to an article in Time Magazine based on statistics from the Guttmacher report, some states are doing better than others in terms of how many teens are getting pregnant each year. States are working to follow the trends set by California, Hawaii and New Hampshire, which are the top three states for driving down the number of pregnant teens. Other states are working to figure out what these top trending states are doing in order to emulate the process in hopes of driving down the numbers of teens getting pregnant. Teenage pregnancy and abortion rates in the United States are still considered exceptionally high compared to other developed countries, which is why so many organizations like Guttmacher and Planned Parenthood are working to advocate for a change in the United States federal policy on sexual education in the public school system.

Sex education:

In the mean time, parents can take a more proactive role in helping to drive down these numbers on their own by tackling the issue of teenage pregnancy and abortion in their own homes with their children and teens. First and foremost it is important for parents to understand that their children are being exposed to sex earlier and earlier with each new generation. It is important for parents to get to their child first before they think they have learned all there is to know about sex from their friends and peers. Most sex education courses in American high schools are not taught until the 11th grade. This presents a problem for those high percentage of teens having sex prior to age 16. If parents take a more active role in speaking to their teen about sex and how to practice safe sex early and keep that line of communication open, they are more likely to assist their child in making smart decisions when it comes to sex and other sexual activities. Topics like sex, abortion and STDs should all be discussed in order to prevent these numbers with teenage pregnancy and abortion as well as STDs from continuing to climb.

Sources: usatoday.com, guttmacher.org, CDC.gov, time.com,

Teenage Pregnancy and the Media

With many television shows and movies focusing on pregnant teens, it is no wonder teenage pregnancy and the media are becoming more popular leaving many to wonder if the role of teenage pregnancy and the media might be causing the rise of teen pregnancies.

Teen shows have always been a popular form of entertainment for teen girls and boys alike. However, as the years go on, show creators continue to push the boundaries of sex demonstrating teens engaging in all forms of sexual contact. Teenage pregnancy and the media is portrayed in many forms including television shows and movies showing  teen pregnancy including fictional dramas to reality shows like MTV’s 16 and Pregnant and Teen Mom. While these shows may attempt to focus on the realities of teenage pregnancy and the media, teen pregnancy rates throughout the United States continue to rise. 

Teenage pregnancy and the media:

As reported by Time Magazine, the Rand Corp. did a study to determine the effect of teenage pregnancy and the media to find if teens exposed to sexual conduct on TV and other media sources affect teen pregnancy rates. The results of the study found that teens exposed to sexual content on TV and in movies, are twice as likely as teens watching less of the same material to become pregnant before they reach age 20. The study revealed that teen movies glorifying sex as well as teen pregnancy reinforces the idea that teens should become sexually active early in their teen years to “keep up with what is normal,” or what they see on TV. Teens get the impression that if everyone on TV is having teen sex, then most of their peers must be having sex. However, this is not always the case. Yet the perception put forth by the media is that it is normal for all teens to have sex. However, many teens reported in the study they wish to wait to have sex for marriage or until they are older or “in love.” 

Other effects of teenage pregnancy and the media:

However, in spite of these teenage pregnancy statistics, a report by the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned pregnancy, revealed that in a recent study about 93 percent of teens who watched the show 16 and Pregnant found they were surprised about how difficult being a young teen mom or pregnant teen really is. About 83 percent of the teens surveyed said they learned new facts about teenage pregnancy from the discussion of the episodes. It is unclear whether the information received from reality shows about teen pregnancy are having any direct effect on the number of teens getting pregnant each year. However, with pregnancy rates on the rise in America, shows like 16 and Pregnant do not appear to be having any positive effects on teen pregnancy. 

The future of teen pregnancy:

These studies leave both parents and teens wondering what the effect really is on teenage pregnancy and the media. Overall, many researchers have found that teenage pregnancy and the media, as well as sex and the media are not likely to be trends going away anytime soon. Ratings for reality as well as fictional shows about teenage pregnancy are high resulting in spin off shows like Teen Mom, which portrays young teenage mothers. Some have speculated that with shows like Teen Mom, teens are seeing the side of teenage mothers that is considered “glorifying.”  Instead, it is important for parents and teens to teach and learn about the responsibilities of safe sex and the likelihood of getting pregnant without proper use of contraception or birth control. Because the majority of public schools throughout the United States only teach abstinence-only sex education, it is a good idea for parents to teach their teens about the proper way to use condoms, take birth control and practice safe sex. While abstinence-only education is helpful in teaching teens that the only sure fire way to prevent pregnancy is through avoidance of sexual intercourse, there are still teens who will have sex anyway. Teen pregnancy statistics indicate that it is important for all teens to know and understand the roles of safe sex whether they are actively having sex or not. Parents should not rely on teenage pregnancy and the media to inform their child about safe sex and pregnancy prevention.


http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,1855842,00.html,  http://www.disabled-world.com/health/female/teen-pregnancy.php

Teenage Pregnancy and Adoption

Of course, some teens who become pregnant are married, the pregnancy is intentional, and they are excited and happy to welcome their child into the world and care for him or her. But this settled, prepared situation is often not the case when a teen becomes pregnant. Often the unplanned pregnancy is unexpected, the parents are unmarried and may have not had plans to form an enduring relationship, the parents are both still pursuing their education, and they don’t have the means to support themselves, let alone a child.

When people think about teenage pregnancy and adoption, many will immediately imagine circumstances like those in the second scenario proposed above, and they will often have an immediate response that adoption is either a very good or a very bad idea. Some will want to know about the particular circumstances that an individual teen faces before drawing a conclusion.

Those who think that adoption is not a good idea in general as the outcome of a teenage pregnancy often consider the speed and logistical ease of abortion as a resolution as opposed to enduring nine months of pregnancy, giving birth, and the toll this will take, particularly on a very young mother, who is trying to complete her own schooling. They also may consider the demands a teen’s pregnancy places on the rest of her family. 

However, those who think that adoption is not a good idea may also come from a very different standpoint. They may believe that a woman—even a young woman—can become a good mother and that whenever possible, keeping the baby in the family should be considered. They may point to the traditional role of the extended family in caring for children and the fact that, through history, many generations of women have begun bearing children at younger ages than is popular now.

Those who think that it’s a good idea in general for a teen pregnancy to end in an adoption often consider the fact that such a young mother may not be emotionally and psychologically ready to give her baby the care it needs. They worry about the impact on the young mother’s schooling and her ability to support herself and her child. They may also take into account the effects on the baby’s father, including both his ability to parent, his education, and his job prospects. These people may also either those who are opposed to abortion on principle or who think that it is such a critical choice with possibly long-lasting psychological effects that they think carrying a child to term and knowing that it has gone to a good home is a better option for the mother (as well as the baby).

Both those who promote adoption and those who advocate keeping a child in the family when possible may also recommend the special schools or residential facilities for pregnant teens—both public and private—that have sprung up to help support a young mother-to-be, both during her pregnancy and in acquiring the skills, knowledge, and maturity that will allow her to be a good mother.

Teenage Pregnancy and STDs

Teenage pregnancy and STDs is a dangerous combination. Unprotected sex can lead to cases of unwanted pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases in teens. Contracting an STD while pregnant is dangerous for both the mother and the baby. This article takes a look at the dangers of  teenage pregnancy and STDs.

Teens who are not practicing safe sex with the  use of a condom or birth control face increased risks of pregnancy, sexually transmitted disease or both. Contracting an STD while pregnant can result in serious complications in pregnancy and even sometimes death for both the mother and baby. STDs like genital herpes and bacterial vaginosis are commonly found in pregnant women and teens in the United States. It is reported that there are nearly 1 million women in the U.S. who are pregnant and have at least one STD infection, according to the Women’s Health Resource. A pregnant woman or teen will be screened for some STDs at the initial checkup. This way, the doctor can determine if there is an STD and can quickly treat it to avoid as much damage to the baby and mother as possible. If the pregnant woman continues to have sex with someone or multiple partners who may have an STD during her pregnancy, it is important to continue being screened for STDs to help exposure to the fetus. Early determination of an STD is the best way to prevent serious complications in the pregnancy. Keep in mind that some STDs take a while to show symptoms, so even if you think you don’t have one, get checked anyway if you feel you may have been exposed. This is the best way to protect yourself and your baby. 

How teenage pregnancy and STDs can affect a teen and her baby:

  • STDs can be transferred to from the mother to her baby before, during or after the baby’s birth. Some STDs like Syphilis can be transferred through the placenta to the baby and infect the fetus while it is still in the uterus. There are also some STDs like Chlamydia and genital herpes that can be passed to the baby during delivery. Other STDs can also be passed to the baby during breastfeeding. 
  • If infected throughout the course of the teenage pregnancy, the pregnancy can result in premature delivery, still birth or low birth weight of the baby
  • The baby can also suffer from: conjunctivitis, pneumonia, neonatal sepsis (infection in the baby’s bloodstream,) neurologic damage, blindness, deafness, acute hepatitis, meningitis, chronic liver disease or cirrhosis.

Most problems encountered during a teenage pregnancy where the mother has an STD can be handled or prevented only with frequent prenatal care, which begins with routine STD testing throughout the pregnancy. The delivery of the baby is usually done via cesarean section in cases where the mother has an STD to prevent infection of the baby that could occur during normal delivery through the vagina.

STD Symptoms:

  • Open sores or legions in, on or around the mouth, anus, penis or vagina
  • Swelling or skin rash with severe itching
  • Painful urination or intercourse
  • Stomach pain 
  • Vaginal bleeding

STD Prevention

  • It is important for teenagers to remember that even if you are a pregnant teen, unprotected sex can still lead to contracting an STD. 
  • Continuing to have sex with the use of a latex condom is an essential to staying free and clear of STDs.
  • If you do have unprotected sex during pregnancy, make sure it is with a partner who has also been tested for STDs, and who only has sex with you. 
  • Remember, abstaining from teen sex is the only 100 percent positive way to avoid contracting an STD while pregnant or otherwise. 

How to avoid spreading an STD while pregnant:

  • Do not have sex unless your doctor tells you it is okay.
  • Continue to use a condom every time.
  • Undergo treatment for your STD.
  • Make sure your partner or partners are also undergoing STD treatment if they also carry the disease or infection.
  • Continually get checked and rechecked for STDs. 

Remember, it is important to discuss teenage pregnancy and STDs with parents, a trusted adult or a health care provider. Learning more about the risks of STDs while pregnant is the best way to treat the infection and prevent damage to the fetus or baby as well as the pregnant teen. 

Sources: http://www.wdxcyber.com, WebMD.com, www.cdc.gov

Teenage Pregnancy and Education

When a teen becomes pregnant, education goals may become secondary and ways of achieving those goals may grow less clear. This article on teen pregnancy and education summarizes the alternatives available.

Primary Concerns in Educating a Pregnant Teen

Private schools, because they are private, may make different rules, and if a teen who attends private school becomes pregnant, the school should be consulted about their policies. However, a teen who is pregnant continues to have a right to a free public education, and continuing on in her current public school, or transferring back to a public school if you has been attending a private school and can do so no longer, is a possible option.  But when a teen becomes pregnant, her health and the health of her unborn child may make alternative arrangements for her education necessary.

If the teen has a health or mental health issue or an emotional/behavioral issues, than treatment for this combined with care for her pregnancy may both be priorities. In such a case, a therapeutic program with a school may provide a location in which all issues may be treated. Such a facility may be recommended by a healthcare professional or social worker or found by searching on the website of the National Association of Therapeutic Schools and Programs with the keyword pregnant. http://www.natsap.org/programsearch.asp

Other Alternatives for Teen Pregnancy and Education

There are a variety of other ways to continue a pregnant teen’s education. Homeschool and distance or online learning are both approaches that can work for a pregnant teen for whom her former schooling is no longer working or who has medical issues that require that she not go to school. For example, a bed-ridden pregnant teen who was still alert and mentally up to it could still complete coursework  without being able to be physically present at school through either of these options.

Homeschools must be approved by the state department of education and generally take some time to set up. They do, however, provide the maximum in flexibility for the teen and her family. For example, because homeschools can meet for longer periods of time in a day, it is possible that the teen could frontload the school year and get the maximum amount of schoolwork completed prior to the birth of her baby.

Accredited distance learning opportunities may be quicker to set up. Alternatives exist for receiving instruction over the Internet, through videos that are played on one’s computer or television, or through correspondence courses.

At least one charter school—The Polly Fox Academy in Toledo, Ohio—is specifically designed for teens who are pregnant or parenting. It offers grades 7 through 12 and has been open since 2003. http://www.pollyfox.org/ In addition to high school classes, Polly Fox features parenting training, subsidized childcare, and a flexible schedule.

Teenage Pregnancy and Poverty

 Teenage pregnancy and poverty may be linked in many people’s minds, but that doesn’t mean they know the facts. This article summarizes the research that helps establish what the relationship between teenage pregnancy and poverty really is.

Two Connections Between Teenage Pregnancy and Poverty

When considering how teenage pregnancy and poverty relate it is important to consider two distinct but important connections. First, it is important to consider poverty as a factor among others in leading to teenage pregnancy. Second, it is essential to consider poverty as an outcome of teenage pregnancy, not only for the pregnant teen, but for the teen father, the child, and other children that may be born to the teen mother subsequently.

Poverty as a Contributing Factor to Teenage Pregnancy

The connection between poverty rates and teen pregnancy rates seems inescapable even when it isn’t pointed out.  In a 2010 report using 2006 data, this is the top three and their rankings in terms of both teenage pregnancy and poverty. Texas, the leader in teen pregnancy rates, is ninth in the nation in the poverty rankings. New Mexico is second in teenage pregnancy rates, and third in poverty rankings. Mississippi is third in teen pregnancies, and the highest rate of poverty in the country.

In 2005, New Mexico had been first, Nevada second, and Arizona third in  teenage pregnancy rates; Texas first, New Mexico second, and Mississippi third in birthrate, and New York first, New Jersey second, and Nevada third in the abortion rate for young women 15 to 19. While the pregnancy rates among teens had been declining, and the 2005 were the lowest in over 30 years, 2006 saw an increase, as reported by the Gutmacher Institute.

Poverty as a Result of Teenage Pregnancy

It has been reported that only a third of teen mothers achieve a high school diploma and that teen father are apt to finish fewer years of school than men who become fathers when they are older, leaving both parents less equipped than they might be to earn a living. Children of teen parents had been found to have poorer school performance, and girls who were born as the result of a teen pregnancy were found to have a 22% greater than average risk of becoming teen mothers. Additionally the National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy has reported that a minimum of 75% of teen mothers who are unmarried will be on welfare within 5 years of the birth of their first child.

This view is countered by a study by University of Pennsylvania’s Frank Furstenburg, who reported that women raised in poverty and bearing children later were not much more likely to escape poverty than impoverished teens who became pregnant. The study also concludes that there is little difference educationally and economically between girls raised in poverty who become mothers during their teen years and those who become mothers later.