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A Real Solution to Teen Pregnancy?

 

Pregnant Babies - really sad to see any young woman pregnant before they are ready.  I present this idea to prevent pregnancy in adolescents, teens and young adults.  This method will guarantee a girl or young woman does not become pregnant before the time is right.

The simple solution to the prevention of pregnancy is the only one solution that can actually work.  And it is for a technique that is currently practiced but in a different demographic.  I am talking about Vasectomies.  For every boy who turns 14 automatically offer free vasectomies and free reversals.  All insurance companies should cover this procedure for their customers children with no questions asked.  It should be a free procedure at any hospital in the world. 

UNTIL Vasectomies are more reliable, this is not a viable option. We are back to abstinence! <:

When a boy reaches an age and is in a relationship where he wants to father children, he takes his gold ticket and turns it in for his free reversal of the vasectomy.  By reversing the situation and mindset of society with this as an expectation, positive reinforcement can circumvent any fears or concerns of the boys.  It would become a rite of passage.   All young men would know that whenever they were ready to have children, maybe after the age of 18 (parental consent ?)  they could be in the doctors office and out the same day, ready to father their first child.   If this were presented in the right way and adopted as a norm for all young men, like selective service with a slight sting, we could see an serious impact on teen pregnancy and the destruction of lives it can cause.  Kids will still need to protect themselves from STD's/HIV/AIDS, but if they do contract any of those, it affects their life only technically (and their partner), but not the life of an innocent newborn.  At that point it will be "You need to wear protection to protect yourself against STD's, but you are already protected against pregnancy."  Girls go through the pain of childbirth, so guys can go through the relatively minor discomfort of this procedure.  And if you have ever read the side effects with most if not all birth control pills  you really wouldn't want the woman you love or your child taking those anyhow.  In fact, I will post the side effects here on this page with a link (below the Comments section now appear several articles on the side effects with links).  I am not even sure what the cost of birth control pills are, but over the years I am sure it adds up to a significant amount, then there are the side effects, and finally their is the all too common situation when you are young and in love and your hormones are through the roof - if you don't happen to have a condom at that age, often times not many young people are going to let that affect their opportunity to "procreate."  (PG Site)  

(Birth Control Pill/Shot side effects now listed after comments)

 

Just home from the hospital, 15-year-old Juana J. shows the strain of being a new mother.

 

Just Say...Vasectomy?

I would like to have this as an open discussion.  Any comments or suggestions or medical information for those in the know will be posted on this page.   Use the information Request Button at the bottom of each page on this site to contact me. Let me request that you list your profession when commenting on this, no company name or anything, just profession.  Premature pregnancy "industry" is quite large.  Imagine if this were to catch on.  If you are a student you can put that, or if you are a full-time Mom, the toughest job of all, feel free to put that.  I personally am a software programmer.   Maybe add whether you are Male of Female (M or F) also; I would like to see the Men's view and the Females view where possible. 


COMMENTS RECEIVED

Thanks to all who write in about this!  Due to the speed with which people surf the web, I attempted to consolidate this concept into a few paragraphs and did not expound on a lot of things.  I realize there are many sensitive feelings about this subject, particularly with regard to religion and sex ed in school.  Rather than an entire discussion about sex ed in school, abortion, and the plethora of other issues that arise, please attempt to limit your comments to the possibility of this, how it would change things for the good or bad, and so on.  Ultimately this is about a newborn child's life and coming into a home that is not ready for them yet.  My first girlfriend was adopted as a baby and I saw the issues she dealt with.  And recently a friend of a friend's daughter who is 13 gave birth to a baby boy. 

Date: Wednesday June 22, 2005
Time: 09:11:24 PM
Comment: "The theory about it being hard to raise a child when you are a teen is not true. I was 17 when i had my first child and i am doing fine. I was able to graduate from high school and now i am working. I am 21 years old and i have 2 kids by the same man and i have know help from him. It is possible to be young and raise a child it is not impossible. It is a learning experience."

Author: Don't get me wrong, way back in the day people got pregnant when they were 14, it was common, and it was a good thing.  I think a woman should get pregnant whenever she wants to get pregnant, just not a second before she wants to get pregnant.  That is the emphasis of what I am trying to propose here.   Thanks for writing in.

Date: Friday June 24, 2005
Time: 06:41:32 PM
Comments: This idea of having a vasectomy to avoid unwanted teen pregnancy does not make sense to me - I am by no means a medical professional, nor was I unfortunate enough to be a pregnant teenager, but from what I have heard, Vasectomies do not work 100% of the time and reversals do not always work. Also, if this theory was in practice, other issues that go along with sex might not be dealt with - like the spread of sexually transmitted diseases or rape. Teens need to be adequately educated in all the issues that go along with sex. Birth control should be readily available as well as accurate information about pregnancy and disease.

Author: Thanks for your comment.  I will try and locate some solid research on Vasectomies and their effectiveness and what issues lie with reversals and their success.  A preliminary look seemed to indicate that the success rate is better the sooner it is reversed, which would mean that if done, the procedure should be delayed until the onset of sexual activeness.  I will get some research from a reputable organization and post the link also.  On the other hand though, I don't think we can allow STD's to be a barrier in considering the concept.  We can't compare STD's with a newborn baby innocently born into a family  that might not be ready for a child.  Was not sure what you meant on the "rape" comment however, unless you were referring to the transfer of DNA or inability to? 

Date: Friday July 01, 2005
Time: 06:48:38 PM
Comments

Hi again; I previously left the message about the questionable reliability of vasectomies. I am interested in seeing what you find out about how well vasectomies work (especially since my husband is about to get one!!) I would like to clarify what I meant by saying that if this whole vasectomy thing was in practice with teens, it could overshadow other issues such as rape and STD's. I have this fear that a teen using a vasectomy as birth control might use it as a "free ticket" to have sex left, right and center without any consideration of whether they might be spreading disease or having sex with someone who might not be a consenting partner. Assuming teenagers could use something like this responsibly seems absurd to me - like giving a teen a loaded weapon and saying "don't kill anyone".  Yes, being a teenage mother would be a nightmare for most teens. I don't think there is any easy answer to this issue.  Incidentally, I really find your site interesting - I landed upon it while trying to find out what that Pearl Jam Song "Jeremy" was about. You have done a great job of researching your topics.

Author: thanks for the kind remarks.  I have lots of visits from universities and health departments from across the world.  I hope others will weigh in on this matter.   If this idea is not unique, I would like to know if research was done on this at any point.   I will try and place a link on pages besides this one that have been popular with the aforementioned web visitors. 

I think to me the most important person in all of this is the innocent child who might be born into a family or broken family that is absolutely not ready for them.  Next is the young girl not yet ready for a baby, who loses some of her childhood and potentially dooms themselves to a life more impoverished than if she had waited until she were ready to have a baby.  I feel the reference to "giving a teen a gun" and "don't kill anyone" might stir a negative connotation with regard to this idea, even if on a subconscious level.  I did not have an e-mail address for you and will post as is for now, but will remove later to alleviate the potential for that.  If nothing else you could compare it to giving a teen a gun but with no bullets and no way to get bullets.  They would be firing blanks.   I will try and get some research information on the vasectomies.  I have some already I just need to post it.  One of my best friends had it done about 7 years ago after having a boy and a girl and they seem very pleased with the process.  I will get his honest statement of how the procedure was for him and will include.  If you did not see above, I have posted additional information regarding additional experience I have with teen sexuality.  It better clarifies my approach to this issue.   Thanks again for sharing your thoughts. 

Date: Saturday July 09, 2005
Time: 10:19:46 PM
Comments

What would you say in my situation? I'm 16 years old and I have early stages of cervical cancer. My doctors tell me I do have time to have a child but only if I have it now. Obviously Iím not ready for this responsibility but I do want to have a child of my own some day. Yes I could always save my eggs or adopt but that ruins one of the best parts of experiencing being a mother. I want to actually feel my child growing inside my body, and I donít like the thought of another woman carrying my baby. Besides all that, I do have a future planned before I settle down, like joining the military and taking college classes, but I donít see how I could do all that with a child. Iím so lost right now and Iím too young to make such a life changing decision... never mind the thought of having to get a hysterectomy before Iím 20. -Crystal-

Author: First off, I am terribly sorry to hear about this situation you have found yourself in.  I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers.  My sister had breast cancer at 38 and survived, but she did not have children and cannot have any now.  My only suggestion is to talk to anyone but me. I am still single and do not have any children.  You are in a complicated situation obviously.  The best advice I can give comes from the book of Proverbs and states ďWhere there is no counsel, the people fall; But in the multitude of counselors there is safetyĒ (Proverbs 11:14).   What I do when I am faced with a difficult decision and don't know what to do is to get the advice of 2 or 3 people who are knowledgeable in the area in question and also people who I hold in high esteem or have respect for.  There are  support groups out there for those in the unfortunate position you find yourself in, some on the Internet.  If I were in your position, I would try and talk to a counselor, a minister, and possibly a few support groups.  Best wishes and hang in there.  My sister is happy and healthy now 5 years later with no signs of the cancer returning.  Also, although it is probably too expensive for average people, I wonder if a woman can have an egg frozen and saved for later?  

Date: Monday July 11, 2005
Time: 02:11:53 PM
Comments

After carefully re-reading your pregnant babies page I see that you are not bashing young girls having babies but only trying to find a solution to unwanted teen pregnancies. I was a young mother by my own choice, and I now realize if there had been more educational resources on teen pregnancy I may have decided to wait. There is not much out there for a young girl. Teen pregnancy is something that even to this day some feel as though it has to be swept under the rug, hidden, and not discussed. IT IS HAPPENING so why sweep it under the rug. The classes in high school don't teach you anything as they can't even refer to the act. One thing that caught me as unusual is you are a man stating on your web site that vasectomy is an ok thing and should even be encouraged. Kudos to you on that one!!! Most men think women should have to handle all of the pressures of contraception. This, I believe, is part of the reason there are so many unwanted teen pregnancies. Younger girl having sex with older guys and the guys are sloughing all birth control responsibility on to these girls who are younger than them. It is a disgrace to see how some of our men are being raised. !

Author: Thanks for the comment.

 

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Concept first posted April 23, 2005.


BIRTH CONTROL PILL POTENTIAL SIDE EFFECTS

Major Warnings on Injectable Birth Control
 

While doctors prescribe various methods of birth control, women taking such contraceptives need to be aware of what they are putting inside their bodies.

Studies have shown that the prolonged use of an injectable contraceptive, Depo-Provera, is associated with bone density loss. Depo-Provera works by stopping ovaries from releasing eggs, which results in a thin uterine lining or no lining at all.

One injection of the drug can last up to three weeks. The longer the drug is used the greater the losses are. Unfortunately, it may not be possible to reverse bone density loss completely, even if one discontinues the use of the drug. However, a spokesman for the drug maker claimed bone density loss has been "at least partially reversible" in girls and adult women who have used this birth control method.

Along with lowering bone mass, women being injected with Depo-Provera are at an increased risk of developing osteoporosis.

This discovery has motivated the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to place a "black box" warning -- the strongest warning that can be issued -- on the drug's label. In addition, the label will explain how Depo-Provera should be used only as a last resort, when all other methods have failed.

The label currently includes severe cautions of using the drug for women who suffer from:

Breast cancer
Liver problems
History of stroke
Blood clots in the legs


Despite these risks, the drug's manufacturer, Pfizer, and the FDA continue to claim Depo-Provera is a safe and effective method of birth control.

(Link found here: http://www.mercola.com/2004/dec/4/birth_control.htm)

 

Brown University-Birth Control Pill Side Effects

(Link found here: http://www.brown.edu/Student_Services/Health_Services/Health_Education/sexual_health/ssc/bcps.htm#4)

 

What are the side effects of Birth Control Pills (BCP)?

Like all medicines, BCPs have side effects that you need to be aware of. For BCPs, there are rare but serious side effects and minor side effects.

Rare but serious side effects:
 

Blood clots
BCPs can make women slightly more prone to form blood clots. A blood clot can occur in a vein or artery and can have different symptoms depending on where it forms. Clots can occur in the legs, abdomen, heart, lungs, eye, or brain. In the brain, a clot could manifest as a stroke. The risk of these events occurring is very low, but increases in women over 35, in smokers, and in those with high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, clotting tendency, or a family history of clotting abnormalities. The warning signs of a blood clot spell out the word ACHES:
 

bulletAbdominal pain
 
bulletChest pain (also shortness of breath)
 
bulletHeadaches (especially those that are new, severe, or associated with persistent dizziness, difficulty speaking, fainting,numbness or weakness in extremities
 
bulletEye problems (blurred vision or loss of vision)
 
bulletSevere leg pain (and/or redness and swelling in the calf or thigh)

 

If you develop any of the ACHES side effects or jaundice (a yellowing of the eyes or skin) while on BCPs, call Health Services right away at 863-1330. If you need emergency medical attention, call EMS at 863-4111. If you are out of town, contact a local health provider or go to a hospital emergency room.

High blood pressure
BCPs can raise your blood pressure. This is why we check your blood pressure a few months after you begin taking BCPs.

Liver tumors
BCPs have been associated with an increased risk of forming benign liver tumors. This is a very rare occurrence, but you should contact your provider if you develop upper abdominal pain while taking BCPs.

Breast cancer risk
Many patients ask about how BCPs affect their future risk of developing breast cancer. The jury is still out on this issue. To date, there have been studies which suggest that there is a slightly increased risk of breast cancer in women who have used BCPs; however, breast cancer was diagnosed earlier and had a better prognosis than in women who have never used the pill. We encourage all women, especially those with a strong family history, to explore this risk with their provider.

Cervical cancer risk
The risk of developing this type of cancer is slightly increased in BCP users. Fortunately, routine Pap smear testing is an excellent screening tool and is recommended on a yearly basis for women taking BCPs.
 

More common minor side effects of BCPs:
 

Nausea
Some women experience some mild nausea when first starting BCPs. Usually this goes away within a short time. Taking your pill with food or taking it before bedtime may help. If you have persistent problems or unusually severe nausea, contact your provider.

Spotting or breakthrough bleeding
This is vaginal bleeding that occurs during your active pills. This is a very common side effect during the first 3 months of BCP use.

Breast tenderness
Mild breast tenderness may occur after starting BCPs. The tenderness can be reduced by decreasing your caffeine and salt intake and by wearing a bra with good support. Usually it gets better within a few weeks. If you notice persistent discomfort or a discrete lump, make an appointment with your provider.

Mood changes
Some women may notice changes in their emotional status: depressed mood or emotional instability. If you have a history of depression, it is important to monitor your progress carefully when starting BCPs. If you notice changes in your mood after beginning BCPs, call your provider.

Decreased sex drive
While your sex drive is affected by many things, the hormones in BCPs can be a factor in decreased sex drive. If you are noticing this side effect, let your provider know. A change to another pill can improve this.

Weight gain
Many patients ask about this side effect. Studies have shown that weight changes in young women on BCPs are no different than women who don't take BCPs. Some women have noticed mild weight change (1 to 2 pounds) and mild fluid retention on some types of BCPs. Contrary to popular opinion, taking BCPs should not make you gain 10 or 15 pounds.

Gallbladder disease
BCPs may accelerate the formation of gallbladder stones in women who have a strong family history of gallstone disease.

Cervical changes
BCP usage, as well as pregnancy, have been associated with some cellular changes on the cervix, called a cervical ectropion. The delicate mucus secreting cells that line the inside of the cervix become present at the outer opening of the cervix. This can make the cervix more vulnerable to sexually transmitted diseases.

Vaginal discharge
All menstruating women have a cyclical vaginal discharge. BCP users may notice subtle changes, but most women won't notice any changes.

 


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