Young age pregnancy is a serious issue that has a grave impact on the future of many young women. Any pregnancy conceived during the teenage is said to be challenging as young girls usually tend to lack skills that are essential for handling a pregnancy and later on, the motherhood. Such a case requires maturity, patience and an ability to cope with stress. A young age pregnancy is also said to have an impact on the baby.
According to the World Health Organization, 16 million girls between the ages of 15 to 18 years and about 1 million girls less than 15 years of age give birth on an annual basis. Most of these girls are said to belong to low and middle-class backgrounds.
Signs of A Young Age Pregnancy
One of the classic signs of young age pregnancy is missing one or more than one periods. However, this can be a tricky sign since it is common for teenage girls to miss their periods every once in a while. It can also be complicated for girls whose cycles are irregular due to excessive exercise, anorexia or harsh dieting.
Following is the list of signs to look for detecting a young age pregnancy:
- Nausea and vomiting, commonly related to as morning sickness
- Unusual and frequent fatigue
- Soreness o breasts and nipples
- A missed menstrual period
- Frequent mood swings
- Increased need for urination
- Sudden aversion to specific types of food such as fried foods or meats
A pregnancy test is also used to confirm the detection of pregnancy. These days, a lot of home pregnancy test kits are available in the market and are generally thought to be safe and reliable.
Medical Risks of Young Age Pregnancy
Young pregnant girls are exposed to a lot of risks, the most prevalent of which is not getting sufficient amount of prenatal care, especially if they do not have their parents’ support. Prenatal care is essential, particularly during the initial days. It is helpful in screening for different medical problems in baby and mother. These screenings also monitor the growth rate of the fetus and identify any complications timely. Some other risks associated with young age pregnancy are explained below:
- High Blood Pressure
Pregnant young girls are vulnerable to developing pregnancy- induced hypertension more than pregnant women of higher ages. They also have more chances of developing preeclampsia in which the blood pressure rises to a dangerous extent with excretion of the high amount of proteins in the urine.
In addition to harming the mother, these symptoms can also interfere with the health of the growing fetus. If not treated, this can lead to further complications such as premature birth.
- Premature Birth
The normal gestational period of a pregnancy is a40 weeks. A premature baby is the one who gets delivered before 37 weeks of conception. Pregnancy at a young age is often at an increased risk of ending up in a premature birth.
In some cases, such delivery can be controlled by prescribing medicines and complete bed rest. In other cases, it becomes crucial to delivering the baby to sustain the health of both baby and the mother. Premature babies are vulnerable to suffer from digestive, respiratory, cognitive and visual problems.
- Low Birth Weight
Because more young age pregnancies end up in premature birth, the babies born in such a way have low birth weights. This is partly because of the fact that they are given less amount of time to grow inside the mother’s womb. Such babies weigh from 3.3 to 5.5 pounds and might be required to put on a ventilator in order to keep him alive.
The following steps should be taken in order to avoid complications in a young age pregnancy:
- Get proper prenatal care
- Take vitamins, especially folates during prenatal period
- Get emotional support from the closed ones
- Prevent using drugs, cigarettes and alcohol