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Adolescent/Teenage Pregnancy

So we pick from where we left off, whatever happened… happened. You are now a father or mother-to-be. Let’s go into this pregnancy journey of a teenager.

What is Adolescence?

Adolescence is the age when one’s body is transitioning from being a child to an adult (mature body). It can start as early as 10 years old to 19 years old. In girls, this transition is mostly signified by the appearance of blood from the vagina (external sexual organ), well known as menstrual blood/period. It shows that the ovaries have started to release eggs. However, this does not mean you are mature now. Other reproductive systems, your brain, and your physique—bones, muscles, and nerves—need time to strengthen and mature too, as well as your hormones, reproductive organs, and mind (not yet able to make critical decisions).

Risks and Challenges of Teenage Pregnancy

Entering into a man-woman relationship at a very young age can cause significant stress on the body, mind, and soul due to inexperience and naivety. In many cases, the body may not be fully prepared to handle the significant changes that come with pregnancy. As a result, such pregnancies are often considered high-risk. It is crucial to take extra precautions and measures to ensure safe delivery and the well-being of both the mother and infant.

Understanding Conception

When an egg is released from the ovary during the menstruation cycle and passes through the reproductive system without meeting a sperm (fertilization), it results in a menstrual period/bleeding. However, when a sperm cell from a man, obtained during sexual activity, or even from a man’s sexual fluid near a woman’s private organs, climbs up to meet the female egg, fertilization occurs. And my friend, you have conceived and are now pregnant—getting pregnant is that easy.

It’s a common misconception among teenagers that conceiving a child requires specific processes and procedures. However, it’s important to note that this is not true. The reality is that conception is a natural process that can happen through unprotected sex. It’s crucial to be well-informed and educated about sexual health to make responsible and safe choices. Don’t let destructive peer influences, myths, and misguided beliefs determine your decisions. Stay informed and make informed choices.

During the second week of pregnancy, the heart begins to form and generate a heartbeat. Over the next 9 to 10 weeks, the embryo grows into a fetus and continues to develop in the womb.

Recognizing the Signs of Pregnancy

The signs and symptoms differ from one person to another, and sometimes they may be confused with premenstrual symptoms because hormones are involved in both. However, the most common signs of pregnancy are as follows (though only 100% confirmed by visiting a health facility):

  • Missing your periods
  • Nausea and sometimes vomiting
  • Sore breasts, which may feel fuller
  • Urinating more often
  • Fatigue and increased sleep
  • Dizziness and fainting
  • Morning sickness or all-day feeling sick
  • Other unique symptoms per person, like very dry lips

The Social Impact and Emotional Reactions

Getting pregnant at a young age is a very different experience compared to getting pregnant when one is older. Sometimes, a person may not even know that they have conceived. Often, others may notice subtle changes in behavior or appearance and inform the person that they may be pregnant. If someone lives with their mother or another female guardian, their attitude toward them may change, and they may become hostile even before asking about the pregnancy. Just know that this is the expected first reaction. After finding out, they may react intensely to any unusual activity, such as oversleeping or sleeping in an unusual position, etc. Their reaction is expected because the thing that they dreaded has come.

Potential Effects of Early Pregnancy

The following is a description of the effects that may arise from getting pregnant at an early age:

  • You feel detached from God if you were in communion with Him.
  • Your relationship with your parents may take a long time to recover, though it should not be so.
  • Psychological torture, most likely endured alone because your teen mate (sex partner) is not getting it, doesn’t understand this pregnancy thing—he is young as well.
  • The torture of waiting for your period to come is out of this world. You sit on a toilet bowl and try to push your menses out, which are not going to come.
  • Your concentration and focus disappear.
  • You may experience suicidal thoughts because you think life is over.
  • Your self-esteem goes down.
  • You are so scared.
  • Bullied at school, even by your family, friends, and neighbors—you feel the world is against you.
  • Risks of contracting HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), like syphilis, gonorrhea, and genital warts (very painful, deforming, and ugly).
  • As the pregnancy advances, you may experience pain in your waistline area (pelvic) as your bones expand, vaginal bleeding (not normal), and high blood pressure (pre-eclampsia), which can be fatal if not controlled and monitored.
  • You may be evicted from your family home and become homeless.
  • You might have no source of income.
  • Discontinuation with education.
  • You may fall into the hands of an abusive husband.

What Should You Do Now?

If you are experiencing early pregnancy, you may be overwhelmed by the emotional, social, and physical challenges. It’s essential to seek support from trusted adults, healthcare professionals, and community resources. While this journey is not easy, know that you are not alone.

What’s Next?

If you’re seeking more guidance on navigating teenage pregnancy, stay tuned for our next article, where we’ll explore the resources and support available to you. Your safety, health, and well-being are the utmost priority. Be kind to yourself and seek the help you need.

Hey, I’m Angeline, your RN and founder of Finally Am Found. With a heart for mentorship, I’ve been guiding teens and young adults since 2017. As a Registered Nurse, I blend medical expertise with personal experiences to create a Christ-aligned space for self-discovery. Connect with Angeline on Facebook and let the journey to self-discovery begin!

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