Mexico, OECD country with most pregnant teenagers
Mexico is the member country of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) with most pregnant adolescents, which reflects insufficient campaigns on sexuality education, lack of family communication and poor access to contraceptive methods to prevent this problem.
Mario Tapia, academic of the Faculty of Higher Studies (FES) Zaragoza of the UNAM, considered that the prevention of these pregnancies should be a priority because it is a public health problem to be related, from the clinical point of view, with mortality maternal due to preeclampsia, gestational diabetes, uterine hemorrhages, malnutrition, immaturity and low weight of babies.
Young people without emotional preparation
The girls are not emotionally prepared to face motherhood and may be victims of psychological or physical violence by the couple or family, said in a statement from the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM).
Last year, the rate was 77 pregnant teenagers for every thousand young people between 15 and 19 years old, and the age of beginning of sexual relations, in 23 percent of this segment, was between 12 and 17 years old.
According to statistics from the National Strategy for the Prevention of Pregnancy in Adolescents, in Mexico there are 340,000 births per year in women under 19 years of age; and 15 percent of men and 33 percent of women did not use contraception at their first sexual intercourse. It is necessary that the Mexican State take into account risk variables of individual, social and family type, involved in this problem.
In the individual variables, there is exposure to sexual activity from an early age, the perception of invulnerability, low educational or life aspirations, impulsive behaviors, lack of commitments and use of drugs, in some cases.
In the family environment, there are factors such as violence, which causes young women to establish social support networks that encourage sexual relations at an early stage; the little accessibility of parents to receive sex education; the abandonment of some of them and living in poverty.
In the social issue, there is the explicit orientation of the media about early sexual behaviors, with poor information on reproductive health.
"Although the State cannot solve everything, health institutions, as well as social and cultural institutions, should be more involved in the investigation of these components," said Tapia, whose work focuses on the comprehensive medical study of the family and clinical epidemiology.
Education is required to exercise responsible sexuality and the approach with the family, which is the main link for socialization and to have mechanisms of affection, social support, and communication. Sex education is not exclusive to schools and health centers, it must begin in the family environment.
"The family must protect its members, transmit the culture of knowledge and, above all, socialization. That's where we're failing."
Young people are the ones who use health services least, so it is necessary to do extramural or community clinic and look for mechanisms that favor the modification of their behaviors.
One thing is that by means of brochures, videos or conferences it is reported what are the sexual organs, the sexual characteristics of men and women, how they develop, and another to get involved in the family context to know the importance of a responsible sexual and reproductive life and health. In that sense, greater influence and better use of health services would be exercised.