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[Social and psychological aspects of contraception in adolescents].

Authors
  • Fortier, L
Type
Published Article
Journal
L'unión médicale du Canada
Publication Date
Sep 01, 1976
Volume
105
Issue
9
Pages
1377–1380
Identifiers
PMID: 987631
Source
Medline
Keywords
License
Unknown

Abstract

Reasons for the high adolescent birthrate in the U.S., medical, psychological, and social repercussions of teenage pregnancy, and facts and myths about sex education and contraception for young people are discussed. About 30% of U.S. women under 20 become pregnant outside marriage, and many more are pregnant when they marry. The reasons for the high pregnancy rates in young people include recent early menarch, which accounts for 94% fertility in 17.5-year-olds, better health, and ignorance about contraception and basic facts about reproduction. Pregnant adolescents risk toxemia, anemia, puerperal morbidity, prematurity, neonatal mortality, and congenital defects such as mental retardation in the baby. They face family alienation, loss of educational and employment opportunities, forced marriage, and high suicide rates in addition to the trials of puberty. Many girls believe that their fertile period is during menses, that pills are dangerous, that they are not fertile. Studies have shown that sex education can lower repeat pregnancies 67%. Recent research has negated the belief that many young women desire pregnancy unconsciously. Current information shows that supplying contraception will not encourage young people to begin having intercourse. Most sex education courses in the U.S. are given after the average teenagers become active sexually. It is believed that contraception should be provided universally for young people, and that parental authorization of contraception would probably mend family ties, certainly better than would unwanted pregnancy.

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