While teenage years can be the most exciting time of your life, they can also get risky. One of the reasons parents are so concerned about their teens is how fast their lives go downhill. Teenagers are experimental. Some experiments are easy to handle, while others are life-altering, and teenage pregnancies are one such situation. Pregnancies are emotionally and physically challenging. When your body is still developing, nurturing another life can take a toll on you. Conceiving a baby while under substance abuse is even worse. Not only didn’t the teen plan the baby, they probably didn’t even know they were pregnant. So how does substance abuse lead to pregnancy? Here are some reasons worth exploring:
1. Unprotected Sex
Under the influence of substances, teenagers may solicit sex. It would help if you had a certain level of sobriety to know what you’re doing. That includes preparing yourself for intercourse. However, if the teenager is consistently under the influence and choosing sex, they may forego protection. Lack of protection puts a teenager at risk of pregnancy. Some teens also feel highly turned on after having substances that may lead to multiple sexual encounters. As a parent, you need to help your child as much as possible. If your teenager is consuming copious amounts of substances, they need help. Rehab centers are a great place to start. Institutes such as the Delphi Health Group can take good care of your teenager since unprotected sex may also open doors to STDs.
2. Substances Impact Hormone Levels
Some drugs, such as cannabis, can impact fertility. While the chances of a teenager becoming infertile are higher, using drugs still affects hormones. Fluctuating hormone levels take a toll on the body. Hormones dictate how a body should behave. It is not unusual to feel hot and clammy after shooting up substances. The surge of hormones can lead to sex. The teenager may have sex often and frequently, which increases the chances of conception. So while it’s true that drugs impact your fertility, copious amounts of sex can lead to pregnancy.
3. Unwarranted Sexual Advances
Even if a teenager doesn’t feel like having sex, they can be in danger. Teenagers are incredibly vulnerable when under the influence. People may take that as an invitation to initiate sex. Substances cloud the brain. So the teenager cannot fight or comprehend the magnitude of the situation. Some teenagers are staggering under the weight of the substances and cannot understand what is happening around them. Some of these encounters may lead to unwanted pregnancies and the onset of trauma. Some of these rape cases happen if the teenager is doing drugs in an area with no protection, increasing the risk of catching STDs.
4. Forgetting The Morning After Pill
Substances can lead to blackouts. It is hard to remember what you went through in a blackout. Teenagers who abuse substances can fall unconscious. They might have had sex at some point and not recall doing it. In such cases, the teenager may choose to skip the morning after pill. Intentionally ignoring the pill after sex can lead to pregnancy. In some cases, the teenager may also wake up disoriented and forget about taking the pill. In either case, when there is no precaution taken, the chances of pregnancies are high.
5. Missing Out Doctor’s Appointments
Teenagers need a doctor after they hit puberty. They can help them adjust to their changing bodies and hormones. Teenagers can learn early on what conditions they need to be wary of and if their health is in good shape. Teenagers who abuse drugs may miss out on these vital appointments. Constantly missing out on a doctor may not inform you how your health is doing. The teen may not even know they’re pregnant since some pregnancies don’t have any symptoms. By the time a teen may feel a shift in their health, the pregnancy may already be far along. That may lead to a whole other set of complications.
What Happens If The Teen Continues Substance Abuse While Pregnant?
When a teen has an unwanted pregnancy, there are ways to handle the situation. Going down the substance route is not a solution. The teenager needs to sit and have a proper conversation with their guardian on the next step. Choosing to abuse substances while continuing pregnancy is hazardous. Some complications that may arise are as follows:
- Chances of Miscarriage. The fetus is dependent on a mother’s physical health. Suppose the mother continues to abuse drugs that impact the child. In some cases, drugs disrupt the flow of oxygen and blood to the baby. When the fetus doesn’t get the required amount, it can result in a miscarriage. The situation also arises since substance abuse can lead to poor physical health.
- Premature Babies. Substance abuse can lead to a child getting born early, while substances can induce early labor and cause early birth. Early birth implies the fetus has not yet developed completely. Some mothers can end up having the child as early as six months instead of the regular nine. Premature babies are incredibly fragile. They need proper care in the NICU to survive. Sometimes even hospital care is not enough. Their bodies are far too underdeveloped to survive. The risk of a premature baby can also endanger the mother’s health. They can bleed heavily and may have after-effects of the substances coursing through them.
Teenage pregnancies can happen due to substance abuse. That is because when you have no inhabitation, sex doesn’t become a problem. Unprotected sex can lead to pregnancies and STDs. Both are emotionally and physically difficult to deal with. Substance abuse also causes teenagers to forget vital information. They may forget about protection, taking their pills, and even visiting their doctors. Some teens may also get susceptible to unwarranted attacks. In any case, unplanned babies can become emotionally jarring. It can be a source of high anxiety and confusion in the mother. It may also trigger another onslaught of substance abuse to cope with the situation which is not suitable for the mother or the baby.