1.IntroductionThese days, teenagepregnancy is a social problem and an important public health problem in Vietnam. According to Vietnammaternal and child health care apartment, the percentage of teenagers who havegot pregnant has increased over the period: in2011: 3,1%; in 2012: 3,2% (Mai, 2014). Moreover, itleads to many serious results including abortion. In 2011, abortion rates inteen mothers was quite high, at 2,4% in total pregnant women then this figuredeclined to 2,3% in 2012 (Mai, 2014). Teenage pregnancy results fromnumerous risk factors and also brings a variety of effects including physicaland mental ones (Kirby, Lepore & Ryan,2005). However, a majority of teenagers aswell as their parents are totally not aware of this dangerous phenomenon.
Therefore, this paper, based on secondary data, will provide information on therisk factors, the effects and possibly solutions to teenage pregnancy inVietnam.2. Discussion of findings2.1. What are the risk factors ofteenage pregnancy?Numerousresearch has been carried to find out many factors which are associated withteenage pregnancy. Firstof all, aclear link has been established between social backgrounds and earlychildbearing. It is suggested that young women from socially disadvantagedfamily backgrounds characterized by poverty, early motherhood and low parentaleducation are at higher risk of being pregnant in their teen years of age (Shapiro,& Miller, 1998; as cited in Woodward, Fergusson & Horwood, 2001). In addition, family contributed amajor role in the unintended pregnancy among young women.
For example,teenagers who live far away from their home, have problematic relationshipswith their parents or go through a marital breakdown before are more likely tobecome mothers at a very young age. Besides, parents nowadays are stillunwilling to speak openly about sex, especially sexual behaviors and contraception(Kanku & Mash, 2010). Therefore, teenagers are lack of background knowledgeabout sex and unable to protect themselves from early pregnancy which is analarming problem around the world.
Second,a number of individual factors increase the possibility of teenage pregnancyand parenthood. Early-maturing girls have a tendency toget pregnant at their teen years thanothers. Aggressive or antisocial young women are also at an increased risk ofteenage pregnancy (Woodward, Fergusson & Horwood, 2001).
Likewise, there is considerableevidence that rates of pregnancy at young ages are related to drug users, withfindings of a large proportion of teenagers who become early mothers had aprior history of overusing drugs as well as alcohol. 2.2. What are the effects of teenagepregnancy?Teenagepregnancy can bring many serious problems to teen mothers.
When they know theyare pregnant, there are two options for them to choose. If they chooseabortion, it can cause many problems such as infection, perforation of theuterus and the most serious problem – infertility which meansthat they cannot get pregnant anymore. If they decide to marry and give birth,they will have to stop studying in high schools, universities or colleges. Teen mothers are less likely tofinish their study than those who avoid being pregnant during their schoolyears (Socolov et al., 2017). As a consequence, they cannot find a suitable jobto earn money and support their children.
It is possibly that teen mothers willhave to deal with financial problems and domestic violence. Therefore, they areeasily suffer from stress or even depression which is harmful to their healthand their babies. When women give birth in their teen years of age, they are atrisk of giving birth prematurely (Beirne, 2017). Teenagers, especially thoseunder 15 years old are vulnerable to anemia which is also called low bloodiron. Anemia can make the mothers feel tired or cause some complications. Duringpregnant period and laboring, complications is the second most popular cause ofdeath in teenagers 15-19 years old (Socolov et al., 2017). Anothereffect of teenage pregnancy is related to the physical health of the childrenalong with their future development.
A preemie, who is born before 37completed weeks of pregnancywill miss out on an important growth taking place in the final weeks ofpregnancy. As a result, the children may become underweight and have smallhead sizes.Those babies are likely to suffer from several problems that can affect theirbrain and their organs (Beirne, 2017).
Besides, the children who were born tothese teen mothers also experience 2.5 times higher risk of losing their livesthan those born to women aged between 20 and 24 (Socolov et al., 2017). On theother hand, owing to uncertainty of the future andlack of supports during pregnancy, teens may take up unhealthy habits, such asdrinking and smoking which is really harmful to their health and their baby. Foetalalcohol syndrome (FAS) – an incurable syndrome, is more likely to affect babiesof teen moms and the syndrome is associated with drinking alcohol duringpregnancy (Sharma, 2012). Sometimes, problems during pregnancy and infancy arenot identified, but these can come up later. Pre-term children can havedifficulties in learning and thinking and their development can be much slowerthan normal ones.
2.3. What are the solutions?Thereare much that can be done to protect teenagers from pregnancy. Firstly, schoolsas well as universities should provide adequate sexuality education including contraception,sexual abuse and so on by making use of the media, especially the Internet.This solution can help students have more useful information about protectingthemselves. It also can encourage responsible behavior, increase the use of contraception.
Healthservice providers have sought to provide birth control services to youngpeople, seeing use of contraceptives as potentially the most successfulintervention in pregnancy prevention (Howard, 2014). Therefore,teenagers can effectively prevent pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) duringtheir teenage years when most youngpeople become sexually curious. Secondly,Vietnam government should plan different youth developmentprograms to support teenagers because research have showed that youthdevelopment programs can reduce sexual risk behaviors and teenage pregnancy(Kirby, 1999). These programs assist teenagers to set their goals,finish study and plan their futures.
As Pagliaro & Klindera (1999) say:Youthdevelopment seldom tackles isolated problems—such as sexual risk behaviors—butfocuses instead on providing holistic support and opportunities for youngpeople. Youth development is a strategy that attempts to meet the needs youngpeople themselves identify: to have life skills, to be cared for and safe, tobe valued and useful, and to be spiritually grounded. It meets these needs bybuilding on young people’s capacities, assisting them to cultivate their owntalents and to increase their feelings of self-worth, and easing theirtransition to adulthood.Thirdly, making contraceptionavailable to teenagers is another solution to teenage pregnancy.
Confidential, affordable and accessible contraceptive services may ensure that teens will havewhat they need to protect themselves. As a result, there could be a decline inthe number of unintended pregnancy cases as well as infection with HIV ones. Final thing that we can do to protect teenagers is supportingthem. Society need to be concern about family communication about sex. Parents should speak aboutsexual behaviors openly to provide their kids with appropriate informationabout it. Moreover, educational opportunities, health education about parentingskills and other supports should be well-prepared for teens while pregnant andafter birth so they can have a better life. 3.Conclusion