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Teen Pregnancy is a Public Health Issue

Unwanted pregnancies at any age can lead to life-long consequences, however the impact for teens can be far greater. High teenage pregnancy rates are a reflection of poor sexual health practice and are linked to high levels of social exclusion and poor knowledge of contraception. Being a teenage parent can lead to an increase in relative poverty, unemployment, poorer educational achievements, and poor health of the child.

                                             TP is a public Health Issue

Ideally, the decisions to have sex and use contraception are made by two consenting individuals, so it is important that initiatives to reduce teen and unplanned pregnancy include males. Often times this has’t been the case, as researchers and policy makers tend to focus on the impact on the female and the child. Limited contraception knowledge reduces teen males’ sexual health communication as well as their contraception use. Research also suggests that about half of  boys and young men believe that preventing pregnancy is the female’s responsibility; however, experiencing an unplanned pregnancy as a teenage male can have just as much long-lasting impact on them as on teenage girls.   

Pregnancy prevention programs that solely target young women overlook the pivotal role that young men can play in preventing unintended pregnancies. Although there is a risk of teen fathers deciding not to be involved in parenting, a collective effort to include them in teen pregnancy prevention strategies remains imperative.

Clinical approach to improve young men's sexual health: H.I.S. B.E.S.T.T.

Hello - Establish confidentiality
Initiate - Conversations regarding sexual health
Sexual Health Assessment - Discuss topics including sexual practices and communication, partners, STI protection, past STI history, pregnancy prevention, and partner violence

Both condoms and female dependent methods - Should be recommended and reviewed
Examine genitals - Perform physical exams
STI Screening - As indicated by history and/or physical examination
Talking to Partner - About sexual health should be encouraged
Talking to Parents or Guardians - Generally about sexual health should be encouraged


Page last updated: May 26, 2022