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Adolescent Reproductive Health Issues

Reproductive Health > Adolescent Reproductive Health Issues

Today, adolescent reproductive health issues are affecting our teen population--at a time in their lives when life is often complicated and confusing enough. The statistics identified here tell the story:

Adolescent Reproductive Health Issues around Pregnancy

According to populationaction.org, every year, almost 80 million unintended/unplanned pregnancies occur around the world. More than half

Of teens worldwide, 150 million teens living in developing countries admit to not using any form of contraception, though they also admit they

Teenaged women at twice as much at risk to dying during childbirth as are women in their twenties.

Teen babies and children are more likely to develop illnesses than children of twenty-something mothers are.

Adolescent Reproductive Health Issues around HIV

Adolescent Reproductive Health Issues around STI’s (Sexually Transmitted Infections)

Almost one-third of all new sexually transmitted infections are experienced by people younger than 25 years of age.

According to Planned Parenthood of New York City, every year in the United States, 15 million new cases of sexually transmitted infections (STI’s—formerly called STD’s, sexually transmitted diseases). Given the fact that some populations are more at risk than others for STI’s, of those 15 million, 3 million are teenagers.

Biologically, says PPNYC, young women are especially susceptible, as are young adults—between the ages of 20 and 24), because they have a greater tendency to engage in unprotected sex, to use alcohol and drugs, and to have multiple sex partners.

The most common STI’s among adolescent men and women are Chlamydia, Genital Herpes, Gonorrhea, Syphilis, and HPV, HIV and AIDS.

Chlamydia and Syphilis are parasites transmitted through vaginal intercourse (Chlamydia) and through kissing and vaginal, anal, and oral sex (Syphilis). Chlamydia appears as asymptomatic to women, but to men might occur as burning during urination. Untreated, Chlamydia leads to urethral infection, PID (Pelvic Inflammatory Disease), cervical inflammation, ectopic pregnancy, and infertility. Treated, the infection is gone within two to three weeks—with antibiotics. Syphilis first appears in the form of sores on the genitals, in the genital area, or on the mouth, but can also be asymptomatic. Untreated, Syphilis develops in stages, leading from musculatory and heart afflictions to blindness and mental illness. Treatment will prevent Syphylis staging—but only if caught early enough.

HPV (Human Papilloma Virus) and Herpes are viral infections, HIV is a viral infection that leads often to AIDS, and Gonorrhea is a bacterial infection. All of these STI’s are spread through sex, while HIV is also borne and transmitted through infected fluids—semen, blood, vaginal secretions, and breast milk. While Gonorrhea and Herpes can be treated with antibiotics, for HPV and HIV there is no cure.

The best and sometimes only cure, then, for such adolescent reproductive health issues…is prevention. And the more information we can get and give, the more and sooner we can engage in prevention of viruses, unintended pregnancies, and all STI’s. And the sooner we can engage in the protection of our teens.

Reproductive Health > Adolescent Reproductive Health Issues