One of the great challenges facing the governments of developing countries, with the support of non-governmental organizations, is to combat adolescent pregnancy and, with this social problem, the consequences of being a parent at an early age, such as dropping out of school and joining the ranks of informal, poorly paid work.
This latent panorama in several countries of our region, mobilizes different sectors to join efforts and implement actions that through campaigns or social actions can combat this reality, however it is not an easy task.
The generations have changed and today’s adolescents are characterized by greater access to information, autonomy in their lives and lifestyles guided by figures that impose trends on social networks.
Is there a successful and comprehensive strategy to prevent adolescent pregnancy?
Preventing an unwanted teenage pregnancy effectively is easier than it was a few years ago. While there is no ideal strategy due to multiple factors that make teenage pregnancy a reality and in many cases a decision, it is effective to speak a clear, myth-free language about modern contraceptive methods, how they can be accessed, and to emphasize that planning is a free and individual decision, a sexual and reproductive right, and easily accessible.
But this information goes beyond a discourse that they surely already know; talking about the future, about a life project, dreams and a stage of life that cannot be lost or ceased to be enjoyed, are key words to which adolescents give their reflective touch and which involve their tastes, aspirations and goals to be achieved.
Similarly, talking from the biological point of view, solving questions with a health professional about the physical and psychological changes that occur in the body, the risks that come with early pregnancy, put into context and raise awareness of this issue.
Teenagers spokespersons for their rights
For several years, Profamilia has been developing campaigns aimed at empowering adolescents and giving them tools and timely information, so that they can make decisions autonomously, prioritizing their future and life project.
However, it has been the adolescents who have taken on the role of spokespersons on the issue based on their experiences with the campaign and other activities led by Profamilia joven. In this editorial space, they share with us a reflective look at their experience and knowledge of adolescent pregnancy:
1 minute of pleasure, a lifetime of raising
“Teenage pregnancy totally changes our lives because we would have to change our routine and mature before our time. We must inform ourselves in order to know more about contraceptive methods and prevent sexually transmitted diseases and early pregnancies”.
Pregnancy occurs mostly in teenagers because of the difficulty in accessing information about these issues (since it is very normal that as teenagers we have access to the internet and everything that this brings, but most of the time we cannot talk to someone who is really trained to clarify concerns about such information), also because of the desire to experience new things. It is not bad to experiment, but everything in due time and with responsibility.
If a young woman becomes pregnant she is at great risk to her health and that of the fetus because her body lacks training and is not suitable for childbirth.
My conclusion is that we have to be more responsible, and if we want to experiment we have to talk to someone trained in the issues of sexuality to advise and help us in the contraceptive methods to prevent diseases and unwanted pregnancies.