According to Unicef, Latin America is the second region in the world with the highest rate of unplanned pregnancy in adolescence
According to a report by the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) and the World Health Organization (WHO), Latin America and the Caribbean continue to be the subregions with the second highest rate of teenage pregnancy in the world. The region has 66.5 births per 1,000 girls between 15 and 19 years old; this figure is only surpassed by Africa. In the region, 15% of annual pregnancies occur in women under 20 years of age.
Dr. Josefina Lira, vice president of the Mexican College of Specialties in Gynecology and Obstetrics, told the newspaper El Clarin that in Latin America, the risk of dying for a young pregnant woman is four times that of an adult woman because the first ones go late to the doctor out of fear or shame.
Teenage pregnancies "are linked to multiple social, economic and cultural factors ranging from the lack of information and recognition of the right to choose" and "the lack of comprehensive sexual education in schools", UNICEF said.
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It is also linked to "the stereotyped representations of the roles of women and men and that make invisible sexual dissidence, abuse and sexual violence, even the difficulties in accessing the legal interruption of pregnancy", the international organization claimed.
For its part, a report from the Population Fund of the Nations (UNFPA), which analyzes the situation of teenage pregnancy between 2015 and 2016, says that although "there are more and more frequent sexual and reproductive health services of quality , including those of family planning, available to the well-off and educated people of urban areas", access to these services is not the same for the poorest sector of the population, for those who live in the countryside and for adolescents and young boys.
Regarding the causes, Dr. Lira pointed out that the lack of information regarding the different options of contraceptive methods, or the misuse of them, is one of the main problems.
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She pointed out, then, that long-term methods such as the contraceptive implant or the intrauterine system are even more effective than traditional ones and help young women to have control over their reproductive life.
"It is important to remove the myths about these methods, which are usually even safer than others because they do not need the manipulation of women to have an effect", she explained.
LatinAmerican Post | Luisa Fernanda Báez
Translated from “Embarazo adolescente: ¿cómo va Latinoamérica?”
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