Why Are Teenagers Becoming Pregnant?

Photo of a teenage mother

Why are teenagers becoming pregnant? This is a pressing question considering the educational opportunities and resources available to adolescents today.

Why Are Teenagers Becoming Pregnant?

Teenage pregnancy is a considerable problem that can be avoided with proper education and appropriate behavioral follow through. Pregnancies in teenage populations often occur accidentally, as restraint and precautionary measures are not properly taken. Abstinence is the only form of birth control that is 100 percent effective and is the ideal approach for teenagers to take.

Some assert that preaching abstinence is not enough and that the approach involves unrealistic expectations. However, this is the only way to ensure that young women do not become pregnant. Other forms of birth control include:

  • Birth control pills, though 99 percent effective in preventing unwanted pregnancies, they can fail through human error. The pill needs to be taken consistently and missed doses can lead to pregnancy. The birth control pill does not protect people from sexually transmitted diseases.
  • Barrier methods include condoms, which can protect people from STDs, but barrier methods can malfunction. Diaphragms can be inserted wrong and condoms can break.
  • Spermicidal agents are typically used in combination with a barrier method. They may be ineffective when used alone, and many doctors recommend using them in conjunction with another form of birth control.

Lack of Communication

Many teenage girls are embarrassed to ask for guidance when it comes to proper birth control. This can lead to haphazard decisions that may involve using over-the-counter methods that prove to be ineffective. In addition, lack of education about how to use birth control correctly can lead to mishaps.

Some girls may be worried about their parents becoming angry if they are sexually active, which can interfere with communication significantly. Getting proper physical examinations is an integral part of the process and many parents may fail to recognize that gynecological exam and consultation with a physician is necessary.

Peer Pressure

Peer pressure is a significant problem that can lead to unwanted pregnancies. Teenagers, both male and female, may feel pressured to become sexually active in order to impress their peers. Some may engage in sexual behaviors before they are ready and before they have the resources available to prevent unwanted pregnancies. Substance abuse comes into play in peer pressure as well. When people under the influence of drugs, alcohol, or over-the-counter medications, they are more likely to engage in risky behavior. Teenage pregnancy caused by drinking or drugs usually occurs by accident.

Teens Getting Pregnant on Purpose

Many teenage pregnancies occur by sheer accident. The young couple may underestimate the risk of becoming pregnant, especially if they are not educated about the subject. In some instances, however, the pregnancy occurs on purpose.

Why are teenagers becoming pregnant on purpose? Some reasons a teenager may want to become pregnant include:

  • Unconditional love that is guaranteed from the newborn.
  • Adult behavior is appealing to many teens who think they have the capacity to handle adult situations.
  • Solidify relationship with the father of the baby. The pair is connected through the child for the rest of their lives.
  • The pregnancy pact is a disturbing trend that stems from peer pressure and the desire to be accepted in a group.
  • Lack of direction may come into play when a teenager sees parenthood as the primary goal for the future. This may occur when other prospects like college or entering the workforce appear out of reach.

High Risk Groups

Some girls fall into high-risk categories for teen pregnancy. Teenage girls who may be more likely to become pregnant may also have experienced:

  • Academic failure
  • Mother who was a pregnant teen
  • Siblings who had babies as teenagers
  • Poverty
  • Lack of role models
  • Surrounded by drug or alcohol abuse
  • Chaotic lifestyle

When teens have nothing to strive for, they may see becoming parents as their most promising endeavor. They fail to see the dangers and complications of having a baby so young in life. The responsibility is overwhelming for many adults and many teens are simply unaware of the challenges they face when they become parents.


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Why Are Teenagers Becoming Pregnant?