The month of May is National Teen Pregnancy Prevention Month. The Allegany County Department of Health is looking to spread awareness about prevention of teen pregnancy right here at home.
It is true that nationally, teenage pregnancy rates have declined over the past two decades by nearly two-thirds. Although the public measures this as a success, there is still work to be done because teen pregnancies continue to occur.
Teen pregnancies pose increased health risks to both mother and the baby. Teen mothers have a greater risk of low iron levels (anemia), high blood pressure, eclampsia, seizures, and depression. Their babies are more likely to be born early and with lower birth weights.
According to the New York State Department of Health in Allegany County, from 2012 to 2014, there were a total of 148 pregnancies to females aged 15 to 19 years old. These rates are concerning in a region where many mothers, regardless of age, struggle to pay bills. The community needs to come together to provide a collaborative effort in preventing teen pregnancies. High poverty rates and increased health risks for both mom and baby are just a few reasons.
It is important to educate teens on sexual health and also provide access to effective forms of birth control. The Centers for Disease and Control recommends that if teens are sexually active that they should be using a long term, reversible birth control option such as an intrauterine device(IUD) or a contraceptive implant.
Allegany County Department of Health Family Planning Clinic provides services such as birth control, pregnancy testing, pregnancy options counseling, sexually transmitted infection testing and treatment along with many other services. For more information or an appointment, please call (585)-268-9250.
For more information on National Teen Pregnancy Prevention Month, visit https://thenationalcampaign.org/