Early pregnancy can jeopardize the mental health of young women

(ORDO NEWS) — Teenage pregnancy is a major public health problem. Experts believe that girls who become pregnant at a young age tend to experience additional stress caused by the unintended appearance of a child.

And subsequently, such serious experiences can affect the mental health of young mothers. Early pregnancy and motherhood can lead to the development of serious mental illness.

In developed countries, where the topic of sex education is not stigmatized, and young people are openly told about methods of contraception, the number of teenage pregnancies is quite small.

For example, in Canada, there are only eight early pregnancies per 1,000 young girls. While in sub-Saharan Africa, these rates are among the highest in the world.

But despite the fact that so many girls in these territories become mothers at a young age, few have studied how early pregnancy affects women’s mental health.

And in this situation, an international team of scientists from Kenya, the USA, the Netherlands and Sweden conducted a major review of scientific studies conducted from 2007 to 2020, which in one way or another mentioned mental health problems among young girls who became pregnant early.

What scientists have found

The results of the review showed that depression and anxiety are the most common mental illnesses. Pregnant teenagers and young women under the influence of hormones are forced to experience a difficult physical condition, which is exacerbated by stress.

Some girls have to leave school in order to bear and give birth to a child, but not all of them find the strength and the opportunity to return to education later. The analyzed studies show that young mothers also often find themselves in conditions of financial dependence and discrimination.

At the same time, adolescence is an extremely important life stage in which communication with peers plays a key role. Therefore, the social rejection and isolation caused by early pregnancy and motherhood can be especially detrimental to the mental health of young girls.

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Early motherhood can also put an end to a young woman’s dreams. In this case, social isolation and rejection, limited opportunities, a stalled career and education become the source of the development of serious mental problems in the future.

At the same time, the services of a psychiatrist or psychotherapist are often not available to young girls who are carrying a child. As a result, many women suffer from various disorders that affect their lives, as well as the lives of their families and children.


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