Teen Pregnancy

WHY ARE WE CONCERNED?

  • 33% of teens in the US become pregnant by the age of 20 (National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy)
  • The United States has one of the highest teen pregnancy rates of the industrialized nations (Advocates for Youth)
  • Teen mothers are less likely to graduate from high school and are more likely to be on welfare (National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy).
  • Many teens use contraception but use it inconsistently. Emphasize the importance of using it correctly and consistently with every sexual encounter.
  • Some teens believe that they are invincible and bad things will not happen to them

GOOD NEWS

  • More teens are delaying first sex (Youth Risk Behavior Survey, 2007)
  • Teen pregnancy rates in the United States have declined substantially since the early 1990s among all racial and ethnic groups (National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy)
  • Teens who are having sex are more likely to use contraception (National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy)

STEPS PARENTS CAN TAKE

  • Express to your child the importance of abstinence and why it is the healthiest choice
  • Explain or read a book (age appropriate) with you child about how pregnancy occurs
  • Discuss what your family values are in regard to teen sexual activity
  • Discuss with your child that if they are going to have sex, they need to be responsible: use condoms and another form of contraception, see a health care provider, discuss past STD exposure with their partner and discuss testing, both partners need to be monogamous
  • Monitor your child’s activities after school so that are not alone with their boyfriend/girlfriend