Teenage pregnancy issues of India

 Teenage pregnancy issues of India

In 2017, an approximate of 11.8 million teenage pregnancies happened in India. As per the National Family Health Survey 4(NFHS 4), 7.9% of women who are aged 15-19 years were already mothers or expectant at the time of survey, with the occurrence higher in rural areas(9.2%) compared to the urban areas(5 %). The  load of teenage pregnancies was highest in Tripura  (18.8%), West Bengal (18%) and Assam (14%) in the country (NFHS-4). 

As far as the recent National Family Health Survey-5 data is related, the rates have enhanced from 18.8% to 21.9% in Tripura, minimized by just 2% in West Bengal and Assam. 

Pregnancy and childbirth problems are the main cause of death among 15-19 year old internationally, with low and middle-income countries responsible for 99% of international maternal deaths of women aged 15 to 49 years. Teenage pregnancy is an international problem and is more probable to happen in marginalised communities, generally which face poverty, lack of education and employment opportunities. It stays a main contributor to maternal and child mortality, and intergenerational periods of poverty and ill health.

The government of India established the Prohibition of Child Marriage Act in 2007, embarked on several awareness campaigns to build up awareness around the ill effects of teenage pregnancy and child marriage via mass media campaigns. The efforts has driven to reduce in teenage pregnancies by almost 50% for the country but lessened only by 2% for states such as Assam.

 Teenage pregnancies_ichhori.com

\\In a bid to comprehend the causes of teenage pregnancy better in Assam, there was a comparative study done. The study findings disclose that teenage pregnancies are caused due to numerous of intersectional causes. Lack of education, detachment to contraception and health info and autonomy over decision making were shown as the key barriers. The study which was shown with over a 1000 participants found that the occurrence of teenage pregnancy was higher in rural Assam, among women who had no schooling or less than 5 years of schooling, women belonging to the Muslim community and those fit into the scheduled castes compared to other castes and religions.  

Teenage pregnancy has a direct or indirect behavior on a number of social development indicators- gender, health, education and nutrition indicators causing/leading to severe anemia in pregnancy, low birth weight, and childhood malnutrition among some. Addressing teenage pregnancy needs us to also understand it from an international level of gender and health, making it important to understand the determinants of the phenomenon in huge occurrence areas.

The Socio-Economic Status of Teenage Mothers 

While a teenage pregnancy influences the complete socio-economic fabric of the society, the mothers are the bad hit. According to the most susceptible districts of Assam, a huge proportion of teenage mothers married due to poor economic situation of the family or after elopement as contrasted to women who turned into pregnant after 20 years of age. A huge proportion of women belonging to scheduled castes and other backward classes (OBC) experienced teenage pregnancy  contrasted to women belonging from scheduled tribes or general category.

Moreover, nearly 47% of the teenage mothers lived in a joint family while a huge proportion of women from the comparative group remained in a nuclear household. While a major number of teenage women have attended schools, a huge number of comparative groups (non-teenage mothers) have studied till 11thstandard or above. 

An outstanding observation that the study made was with respect to the age of their family members particularly, women. While the mother-in-law’s age at her marriage did not vary considerably among the two groups, the age of the participant’s own mother at the time of her marriage was prominent among the two groups. Most mothers of teenage pregnant women were wedded under the age of 16. 


Access And tradition Of Contraception and Other Health Services 

A considerably lower proportion of teenage mothers felt that contraceptives were willingly available to them as compared to the comparison group. There is also a major disparity in the contraceptive use between teenage mothers and women who became pregnant after 19 years. The comparison group of non-teenage mothers reported a considerably higher rate of contraceptive use as compared to teenage pregnant mothers.

Extending the pregnancy conversation to men in important positions 

The discussion around women’s reproductive health is frequently socially isolated. While outset is through a union of a man and a woman the accountability of healthcare, childcare is frequently restricted to the woman. Husbands, fathers, brothers, fathers-in-law, reliance leaders, PRI members and other community influencers require to be a part of the conversation around pregnancy.

It is time we also concentrated on men in our family planning programmes, while the container of contraceptives is widening for women it increases the onus on women without realising that women have limited independence and decision making space of birth control. While this issue has been recognized decades ago by policymakers, there persists a gap at the accomplishment level.

Teenage pregnancy is also an outcome of poor economic position, lack of education, early marriage, lack of readiness to use contraception, lack of involvement in child care and the cycle goes on and on. Teenage mothers are predisposed beyond the frontline health workers and community influencers, frequently men, play a important role. 

The ploy of delaying the age of marriage and teenage pregnancies can be two fold, one educating the girls and making sure that they stay in schools and complete their preferred education and on the side engage men and other community members in the conversation. 

The inhuman circle of delaying pregnancy, spacing birth and ensuring health and nutrition of mothers could all be extremely impacted by connecting comprehensive sensitisation programmes for men. In addition, female health workers frequently face personal, social and cultural obstructions interacting with male members of the community ensuing in leaving them out of the conversation. Rising the male frontline workforce can get India’s family planning and other sexual and reproductive health programmes a long route.



1.Be apparent of your sexual values and attitudes. It will be much simple for you to converse with your child if you have thought through these questions:

  • How do you sense about school-aged teens being sexually active? Becoming parents?
  • Who requires to set the sexual restrictions in a relationship? How is this done?
  • Were you sexually lively as a teen? How do you sense about that now? Were you sexually lively before you were married? How do the answers to these questions influence what you will utter to your children?
  • How do you feel about cheering teens to desist from sex?
  • What do you believe about teens using contraceptives?

2. Converse with your children early and frequently about sex and love.

 Be particular. The most significant thing you can do is to say the primary few words. Be truthful and open. Listen cautiously to find out what your child already comprehends. Make your chats back and forth—two ways. Talking with your children about sex will not support them to become sexually active. Kids require just as much help understanding how relationships labour and the meaning of 10 Tips for Parents To Help Their Children Avoid Teen Pregnancy sex as they do in thoughtful how all the body parts work. What’s the dissimilarity between love and sex? 




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