Monday, 21 November 2011

PREGNANCY - THE FACTS, THE MYTHS AND THE SCARY STUFF YOU DON'T EXPECT:


You may be told as a child how the stork lands with the baby on the parent's front porch, but let me delve into it with a bit more detail. Pregnancy occurs when a male and a female engage in sex, coitis, intercourse, the dirty, call it what you will. The man ejaculates and semen is released into the woman's vagina. The sperm in the semen (About 300 million sperm are released in an ejaculation.) all swim towards the egg in order to fertilise the ovum (egg) with a single sperm (it only takes one!) This eventually leads to the development of the embryo. The term embryo is used to describe the developing offspring during the first 8 weeks after conception, and the term fetus is used from about 2 months of development until the birth. 


TEENAGE PREGNANCY:
This is a pregnancy of a girl under the age of 20. It generally refers to a female who is unmarried and usually refers to an unplanned pregnancy (AVOID THE PULL OUT METHOD! BABIES HAPPEN!) A pregnancy can take place at any time after the first menstrual period, normally taking place around the ages 12 or 13, (though you probably shouldn't be having sex at this age anyway...) and is the stage at which a female becomes potentially fertile.

Teenage pregnancy depends on a number of societal and personal factors (meaning if you're still waiting on your baby teeth to fall out, you shouldn't be having sex!) Teenage pregnancy rates vary between countries because of differences in levels of sexual activity, general sex education provided and access to affordable contraceptive options. (Actually, you can find Durex condoms in some of the chains of Euro2 for only €2! They still work the same! But I'm assuming they fell out of the back of a truck for that price!)
In developed countries, teenage pregnancies are associated with many social issues, including lower educational levels, higher rates of poverty, and other poorer "life outcomes" in children of teen mums. Teen pregnancy in developed countries is usually outside of marriage, and carries a social stigma in many communities and cultures. The United Kingdom has the highest level of teenage pregnancy, while Japan and South Korea have the lowest.






WARNING!
Here is a video of a woman giving birth, but it has VERY GRAPHIC CONTENT so if you're squeamish don't watch it! 







The biggest risk for teen mothers is delaying prenatal care or worse, no care at all. Don't be stupid, tell your mum and dad (nobody will die, yes they'll be angry but at least you're not telling them you want to drop out of school to fulfill your lifelong ambition of prostitution!) The reason for lack of prenatal care is usually delayed pregnancy testing (All it takes is a bit of pee!), denial or even fear of telling others about the pregnancy. A survey by the ISSHR found that the age of 'first time sex' has fallen in Ireland: for 18-24 year olds the average age of first sex is 17; for 35-39 year olds the average age is 19 for women and 18 for men. 



PREGNANCY MYTHS:
Myth 1: During the full moon phase more women go into labor than other times. Looking at the facts shows that this isn't true. (Women are not werewolves, unless they haven't shaved in a while!)

Myth 2: Spicy food induces labor. Again, there is no scientific logic to this. It can however cause intense diarrhoea depending on how much you consume, so I wouldnt recommend spicy food if you're about to give birth seeing as women generally poop during labour anyway. 

Myth 3: Sex brings on labor - this also isn't based on fact and there is no evidence to show that it is true. It's no harm though! So if you're horny go for it!

Myth 4: It is commonly expressed that stretch marks are a natural resultant of pregnancy. The truth is there are women who don't get them at all. (Lucky girls... bet they're the ones with perfect pore-less skin too!)

Myth 5: Being pregnant makes you crazy. Your hormone levels change when you are pregnant, which may cause you to react more strongly to things. However, you will still be yourself. You will still have your likes and dislikes, fears and concerns. What changes is your ability to "hide" the real you. Your high hormone levels encourage you to show your reactions on the outside too. (Tip for men: hibernate)

Myth 6: If your mother had an easy pregnancy and delivery, so will you. The size and position of the baby, your diet, lifestyle and attitude all play greater roles than hereditary in determining the ease or difficulty of your pregnancy and delivery. 



3 comments: