STDs and Teenage pregnancy have become rampant, how can it be checked?

Teenage pregnancy had turned out to become a common thing in our society. The rate of teenage pregnancy is becoming alarming and its consequences are at its extreme. Not only talking about teenage pregnancy, the rate of spread of STD’s is increasingly heart breaking. As each day passes, new harmful and dangerous sexually transmitted diseases are being discovered.

Teenage pregnancy is a situation whereby a young girl within the age bracket of 13 to 19 gets pregnant. Teenage pregnancy is a very bad condition that needs to be eradicated in the community. And that is because its disadvantages are far much greater than its advantages ( if at all it has any advantage). Teenage pregnancy can lead to death of young girls in so many ways. Like in the process of abortion, which some girls do in order to escape shame or taking responsibility of the child. It can lead to death also during child labour. As a young girl whose fallopian tube is still maturing and whose other reproductive organs like the vagina, the ovary etc are still in their early stages of development, getting pregnant is just like over laboring them. It can lead to the increase in the number of children in the orphanage as a result of girls not having the ability to take responsibility of their child.

A lady loses her dignity, integrity and worth as a lady when she makes the mistake of having an unwanted pregnancy at a young age. It dents her image. In some part of Africa, she is ever seen as irresponsible. It is a set back and hinders girls from reaching their goals in life and it has a next door neighbor which is sexually transmitted disease ( STD).

Sexually transmitted diseases or infections are veneral diseases that can be transmitted by having sexual intercourse with an infected person. There are about twenty different kinds of these diseases. Though some have their remedies, it is still highly dangerous and very common in the community. Some of these diseases include: candidiasis, trichomoniasis, pubic lice, herpes simplex virus (HSV), gonorrhea, Chlamydia, HIV AIDS, syphilis, human Papiloma virus (HPV).

Some of these diseases can lead to painful urination, pain in the abdomen, itching in pubic areas, swelling of the testes, menstrual irregularities, yellowish green discharge from the vagina and penis. Some also cause intensive itching and other irritating sensation around the genitals, unpleasant smelly discharge from the vagina. Damage to the nervous system which can lead to paralysis, numbness, blindness, loss of memory or worse still death. It causes blockage in the vagina, anus or throat opening. These STDs are caused by three known agents: bacteria, parasites which can be cured then virus which is incurable. The damage caused by these STDs are enormously dangerous and therefore needs to be curtailed especially in our youth.

STDs and teenage pregnancy can be checked and curtailed in a similar way. Firstly, by public enlightenment and education. Teenagers and youth should be educated at intervals by health organizations through seminars, campaigns, workshops and television programs on the effect of teenage pregnancies and STDs, the modes of transmission and ways of preventing it. Parents should try to advice their children on the things that they are about to face as adolescents and how to handle it.

Teachers or school management should introduce age-appropriate sex education into the curriculum as a medium for further exposure of a child to the effect of teenage pregnancy or contacting disease. Government can possibly make a rule against teenage pregnancy or the act of being a teenage single mother with punishment attached to it for offenders as in some countries like The United Arab Emirates. Scientist would tell us that we can prevent teenage pregnancy and STDs by the use of latex condoms, transfusion of screen blood, being faithful to one uninfected partner, avoiding multiple sexual partners or by saying no to casual sex. But the most effective way to check teenage pregnancy and STDs is by restraining or not engaging in any form of sexual intercourse otherwise called ABSTINENCE.

Abstinence might appear difficult but I believe the most effective advice is one given to oneself. Experience they say is the best teacher, but in the real sense, we do not need to experience before we learn. Therefore it would be best and most effective if youths should advise and decide on their own, to abstain from pre marital sex. In other to achieve this, they need to make up their minds and promise themselves not to engage in premarital sex, they should be able to stand their ground on that decision and courageously tell their partners their decision. They should be able to identify moves, talks or actions of the opposite sex that might lead to sex and move away so as not to fall into the temptation of doing it.

They shouldn’t be too curious as to go and taste in other to know what it feels to have sex, because it will mostly make them to end up doing it over and over again until they become addicted. Teenagers should strongly avoid peer group influence, which is one of the forces pushing and promoting pre marital sex. They should always have self control, though as adolescents, the urge to have sex or spend time with the opposite sex do come naturally. Furthermore, they should set their goals and work tirelessly towards achieving it, thereby removing their mind from sex. Watching pornographic pictures, videos and magazines should be avoided in order not to be stimulated to practise them. Exposing oneself to things or places that will give room to sexual harassment or rape should also be avoided.

The ability of them achieving this comes from the support, courage and enlightment they get from their parents, elders, teachers, governments. I therefore strongly believe that all these measures can be used to check the rampant spread of STDs and teenage pregnancy in our society.

Ugwu Kosisochukwu,


Notre Dame Academy

Awkunanaw, Enugu.