By OGBONNA EUGENIA .O.
According to advanced learners’ dictionary pregnancy is the state of a woman and female animal having a baby or animal developing inside them. Therefore, pregnancy leads to the reproduction of offspring in human beings and animals.
This article is concerned with teenage pregnancy. Then the question is who is a teenager? A teenager is a person aged between 13 and 19 years. This means at this age such a person is supposed to be in school or learning a trade. This also means that teenage pregnancy occurs in girls of school age.
In our own traditional setting, pregnancy is associated with married women. In Nigeria, it is illegal for somebody to marry a girl below 18 years. In order words married women who are expected to be pregnant should be 19 years and above. So teenage pregnancy is associated with unmarried girls who are teenagers. In Igboland, it is a taboo for a girl not married to be pregnant in her parents’ home.
There are many problems associated to with teenage pregnancy such problems include risk to the person’s life, can lead to the person being a school dropout and can brings shame to the person’s life, parents and family. It can also mar the person’s future etc.
Risk to life: Pregnancy is usually a risk to the life of most teenage girls, because they are not yet fully developed and equipped by nature for the emotional and psychological problems. That is why some of the teenagers who see themselves in this state resort to committing abortion. Most of them end up in the hands of quacks with severe consequences.
Another problem associated to risk to life is the problem of UVF (Fisco Vagina Fistuala). It is the problem that arises because the teenage girl’s hipbone is not well developed to carry a baby. Hence during birth she cannot deliver properly and lead to complication that brings problem which makes such a girl miserable in her life.
School Dropout: A teenager who becomes pregnant in her parents’ home brings shame to herself and parents. If the teenager is pregnant while still in secondary school, the pregnancy will affect her studies thereby making her not to concentrate on her studies. The school authorities do not help matters in such cases and the individual involved stigmatized.
Societal rejection: Since the individual involved is stigmatized in this context, she is push into a solitary conferment emotionally thereby damaging her thoughts patterns and freedom to life. In some cases such individual took the supreme prize of committing suicide when she remembers the pains she passed through child delivery and the shame she brought to her family, she regrets her life and feels humiliated and rejected by many not just the family members.
Ruin ambition: If one drops out of school, the chances and dreams of living a good life is marred as the person will not acquire knowledge. Like the saying, Knowledge is power. A person not having knowledge will live a hard life in this world. The best he can be is to end up being a menial labourer. As a result of taking abortion drugs by a pregnant girl, she can lead to ruin her womb and mar her chances of her having her own children when she gets married in the future. The person will be seen as barren woman in future as a result of carelessness because she could not give birth to her own children.
In conclusion, it is very advisable for every teenage girl to ZIP UP and avoid anything that will lead to teenage pregnancy. As such distraction and influence can mar the person’s future which will lead to a miserable and regrettable life.
A WORD IS ENOUGH FOR THE WISE.