By Mary and Yackelin Teen pregnancy preventions How to deal with pregnancy Facts and statistics on pregnancy Myths vs. Facts Importance on Prevention 3 in 10 teen girls in the US will get pregnant at least once before age 20? Less than half of teens in high school have had sex? About 3 million teens get a sexually transmitted infection every year? A couple who has sex without using condoms or any other kind of contraception (birth control) has an 85% chance of getting pregnant within a year? Abstain from sexual activity until you are emotionally and financially able to care for a child. Once you become a teenage mother, your entire life revolves around that child. All your plans for trips, friends, college and recreation are on the back burner. Motherhood is a full-time job. Take a "Baby Think it Over" class to get a better understanding of the demands having a child puts on your life. Baby Think it Over is a simulated infant with computerized actions and responses. It will wake you every 2 hours for feedings and it will cry if left alone too long. Sign up for teenage sexuality classes in your school. The more you know about how your body works, the less likely it is you will get pregnant accidentally. You will learn methods to prevent pregnancy if you are sexually active. Sit down and think about what you want out of life. Many teens live for the moment and, in doing so, become parents long before they are ready. When you're a teenager, you have your whole life ahead of you; consider your options and the risks before you make the choice to become sexually active. Talk to your school counselor to get condoms and information about other methods of birth control if you are already sexually active. Not only do condoms reduce the risk of pregnancy, they also offer protection from Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs). Have a discussion with your boyfriend about waiting to have sex or, alternately, taking precautions if you are already having sex. If your boyfriend won't agree to safe sex, it may be wise to find a new boyfriend. Teen pregnancy and childbearing bring substantial social and economic costs through immediate and long-term impacts on teen parents and their children. In 2008, teen pregnancy and childbirth accounted for nearly $11 billion per year in costs to U.S. taxpayers for increased health care and foster care, increased incarceration rates among children of teen parents, and lost tax revenue because of lower educational attainment and income among teen mothers. Pregnancy and birth are significant contributors to high school drop out rates among girls. Only about 50% of teen mothers receive a high school diploma by 22 years of age, versus approximately 90% of women who had not given birth during adolescence. The children of teenage mothers are more likely to have lower school achievement and drop out of high school, have more health problems, be incarcerated at some time during adolescence, give birth as a teenager, and face unemployment as a young adult. These effects remain for the teen mother and her child even after adjusting for those factors that increased the teenager’s risk for pregnancy, such as growing up in poverty, having parents with low levels of education, growing up in a single-parent family, and having poor performance in school. See a doctor even though it might feel scary to confide in an adult. A doctor must respect patient confidentiality. A doctor can help you explore your options and can rule out possible complications such as an ectopic pregnancy. Consider the choices. If you are pregnant, you have three options. You can have the baby and raise it yourself, give the baby up for adoption or terminate the pregnancy. Write down your feelings as well as the pros and cons of each choice. Putting your feelings about the options down on paper can help you to organize and clarify your thoughts. Call a teenage pregnancy crisis line. Trained counselors can help you sort out your feelings and make an informed decision. Get in touch with your values. Before you make a decision about whether or not to continue with the pregnancy or keep the baby, consider your faith and the values shared in your home. Making a decision in line with these values decreases the chance that you will regret it later. Confide in a trusted adult besides your physician as you prepare for the next step. Usually, this is a parent. If you feel this is not an option, consider another close relative, a school counselor, or a youth leader. The Guttmacher Institute reports that 90 percent of teens who have unprotected intercourse will become pregnant within one year. Black women have the highest pregnancy rate among teens 15 to 19 years old, with 134 pregnancies per 1,000 women The Hispanic teen pregnancy rate is 131 per 1,000; and the pregnancy rate for White teens is 48 per 1,000. Twenty-nine percent of teen pregnancies end in abortion, 14 percent end in miscarriage and 57 percent result in birth. 3 in 10 teen American girls will get pregnant at least once before age 20. That’s nearly 750,000 teen pregnancies every year. Parenthood is the leading reason that teen girls drop out of school. More than half of teen mothers never graduate from high school. Less than 2 percent of teen moms earn a college degree by age 30. About a quarter of teen moms have a second child within 24 months of their first baby. The United States has one of the highest teen pregnancy rates in the western industrialized world. From 1990 to 2008, the teen pregnancy rate decreased 42 percent (from 117 to 68 pregnancies per 1,000 teen girls). MYTH: There's no method of birth control that's 100% effective. REALITY: Not having sex is a form of birth control and it is definitely 100% effective. If you aren't having sex, you can't get pregnant or get someone else pregnant. It's just that simple MYTH: period. Girls can't get pregnant during their REALITY: There is a chance that you can get pregnant if you have sex during your period. Once in the vagina, sperm can stay alive for several days—that means that, even if the last time you had sex was three days ago during your period, you could now be ovulating and therefore you could get pregnant. It’s kind of complicated, so just remember this: ANY time you have sex you can get pregnant, so always use protection. MYTH: Drinking Mountain Dew will prevent pregnancy. REALITY: The rumor that ingredients in Mountain Dew (and other popular sodas) lower guys' sperm count has been around for years, but the simple truth is that Doing the Dew doesn't do anything to sperm. Drinking soda isn't going to do anything but maybe give you a cavity. Teen pregnancies carry extra health risks to the mother and the baby. Often, teenagers don't receive timely prenatal care, and they have a higher risk for pregnancy-related high blood pressure and its complications. Risks for the baby include premature birth and a low birth weight. If you're a pregnant teenager, you can help yourself and your baby by • Taking your prenatal vitamins for your health and to prevent some birth defects • Avoiding smoking, alcohol and drugs • Using a condom, if you are still having sex, to prevent sexually transmitted diseases that could hurt your baby. • • • • • • • The United State spends $7 billion each year due to the costs of teen pregnancy. Only one-third of teenage mothers complete high school and receive their diplomas By age 30, only 1.5 percent of women who had pregnancies as a teenager have a college degree. 80 percent of unmarried teen mothers end up on welfare Within the first year of becoming teen mothers, onehalf of unmarried teen mothers go on welfare.* The daughters of teen mothers are 22 percent more likely than their peers to become teen mothers. Sons of teenaged mothers have a 13 percent greater chance of ending up in prison as compared to their peers. • • • • 80 percent of unmarried teen mothers end up on welfare Within the first year of becoming teen mothers, onehalf of unmarried teen mothers go on welfare.* The daughters of teen mothers are 22 percent more likely than their peers to become teen mothers. Sons of teenaged mothers have a 13 percent greater chance of ending up in prison as compared to their peers. • • • • • 82 percent feel that teens should not be sexually active. 72 percent agreed that teens that are sexually active should have access to birth control. 73 percent feel that being a virgin should not be embarrassing 58 percent feel that high-school age teens should not be sexually active 67 percent of teens who have had sex wish that they had waited (60 percent of boys and 77 percent of girls). Unwanted sexual intercourse Inconsistent Lack use of birth control of education on being abstinence- is not having sex.