Despite declines in rates of teen pregnancy in the last decade, the high numbers are still a cause of concern. In the United States alone, about 820,000 teens become pregnant each year. In other words, about 34 percent of teenagers have at least one pregnancy before they turn 20 and 79 percent of teenagers who become pregnant are unmarried. The worst part is that 80 percent of teenage pregnancies are unintended and nearly four in ten teenage girls whose first intercourse experience happened in 13 or 14 report that the sex was unwanted or involuntary.
A total of 329,797 babies were born to women aged 15–19 years, for a live birth rate of 31.3 per 1,000 women in this age group in the year 2011 in the United States. However, the good thing is that teens seem to be less sexually active, and more of those who are sexually active seem to be using birth control than in previous years. But unwanted pregnancies are still happening when they could have been easily avoided with a free pregnancy test in the first place.
By going for a pregnancy test and using safe sex techniques, one can easily stay protected against teen pregnancy, birth, sexually transmitted disease (STD), and abortion.
Some of the biggest reasons that increase the risk of teen pregnancy are as follows:
- Personal values about sex and abstinence.
- Knowledge of sexual issues, HIV, other STDs, and pregnancy (including methods of prevention).
- Attitudes toward condoms.
- Intent to use a condom.
- Individual ability to refuse sex and to use condoms.
- Lack of communication with parents or other adults about sex, condoms, and contraception.
- Avoidance of places and situations that might lead to sex.
If you or anyway known to you is struggling on how to deal with teen pregnancy or need assistance or advice on how to avoid pregnancy, you can contact Teen Outreach Pregnancy Center, a center wherein case Managers or Nurses will provide options counseling if needed and all results are provided in a safe and private setting by a Nurse or Case Manager.
This center can be contacted at Teenoutreachaz.org.