days, teenage pregnancy is a social problem and an important public health
problem in Vietnam. According to Vietnam
maternal and child health care apartment, the percentage of teenagers who have
got pregnant has increased over the period: in
2011: 3,1%; in 2012: 3,2% (Mai,
2014). Moreover, it leads to many serious results including abortion. In
2011, abortion rates in teen mothers was quite high, at 2,4% in total pregnant
women then this figure declined to 2,3% in 2012 (Mai, 2014). Teenage pregnancy results from numerous risk factors and also
brings a variety of effects including physical and mental ones (Kirby,
Lepore & Ryan, 2005). However, a majority of teenagers as well as their parents are
totally not aware of this dangerous phenomenon. Therefore, this paper, based on
secondary data, will provide information on the risk factors, the effects and
possibly solutions to teenage pregnancy in Vietnam.
2. Discussion of findings
2.1. What are the risk factors of teenage pregnancy?
Numerous research has
been carried to find out many factors which are associated with teenage pregnancy.
First of all, a clear link has been established between social backgrounds and
early childbearing. It is suggested that young women from socially
disadvantaged family backgrounds characterized by poverty, early motherhood and
low parental education are at higher risk of being pregnant in their teen years
of age (Shapiro, & Miller, 1998; as cited in Woodward, Fergusson &
Horwood, 2001). In addition, family contributed a major role in the early
pregnancy among young women. For example, teenagers who live far away from
home, have problematic relationships with their parents or go through a marital
breakdown are more likely to become mothers at a very young age.
Second, a number of
individual factors increase the possibility of early pregnancy and parenthood. Early-maturing girls have a tendency to get pregnant at their
than others. Aggressive
or antisocial young women are at an increased risk of teenage pregnancy (Woodward, Fergusson & Horwood, 2001). Likewise, there is
considerable evidence that rates of pregnancy at young ages are related to drug
users, with findings of a large proportion of teenagers who become early mothers
had a prior history of overusing drugs as well as alcohol.
2.2. What are the effects of teenage pregnancy?
Teenage pregnancy can
bring many serious problems to teen mothers. When they know they are pregnant,
there are two options for them to choose. If they choose abortion, it can cause
many problems such as infection, perforation of the uterus and the most serious
problem – infertility. If they decide to marry and give birth,
they will have to stop studying in high schools, universities or colleges. Teen mothers are less likely to
finish their study than those who avoid being pregnant during their school
years. As a consequence, they cannot find a suitable job to earn money and
support their children. It is possibly that teen mothers will have to deal with
financial problems or even domestic violence. Therefore, they are easily suffer
from stress, depression which is harmful to their health and their babies. When women give birth in their teen years, they are at
risk of giving birth prematurely (Beirne, 2017). Teenagers, especially those
under 15 years old are vulnerable to anemia, also called low blood iron. Anemia
can make the mothers feel tired or cause some complications. During pregnant
period and laboring, complications is the second most popular cause of death in
teenagers 15-19 years old (Socolov et al., n?m).
Another effect of
teenage pregnancy is related to the physical health of the children along with
their future development. A preemie, who is born before 37
completed weeks of pregnancy will miss out on an important growth taking place in the final weeks
of pregnancy. As a result, the children may become underweight. Those
underweight babies are likely to suffer from several problems that can affect
their brain and their organs (Beirne, 2017). Besides, the children who were
born to these teenage mothers also experience 2.5 times higher risk of losing
their lives than those born to women aged between 20 and 24 (Socolov et al., n?m). On the
other hand, owing to
uncertainty of the future and lack of support during pregnancy, teens may take
up unhealthy habits, such as drinking and smoking which is really harmful
to their health and their baby. Foetal alcohol syndrome (FAS) is more likely to
affect babies of teen moms and the syndrome is associated with drinking alcohol
during pregnancy (Sharma, 2012). Sometimes, problems during
pregnancy and infancy are not identified, but these can come up later.
Pre-term children can find it difficult to learn and think and their
development can be much slower than normal ones.