Teenage pregnancy | Western Cape Government

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Teenage pregnancy

Young mom holding her newborn babyTeenage pregnancy can have a profound impact on your future. Without the proper support and help, a teen mother is less likely to finish high school and pursue a career. 

Teenage pregnancies remain a serious health and social problem in South Africa. Not only does teenage pregnancy pose a health risk to both mother and child, it also has social consequences, such as continuing the cycle of poverty including early school dropout by the pregnant teenager.

Education is one way a young girl or woman can empower themselves to become financially independent. Becoming a mother at a very young age affect your future. Healthcare is expensive and often adds a further financial burden on the family of the pregnant teenager. 

Most teenage pregnancies are not planned and a teenager might not be emotionally prepared to handle being pregnant.

Where can I go to for help if I’m pregnant? 

If you suspect you may be pregnant, you can visit your nearest clinic to ensure that you and your baby are safe and healthy.  

The Western Cape Government's Department of Health and Department of Social Development provides a service that offers counselling on a range of safe options available to teenagers, such as adoption.

The service is rendered at most clinics. If the method you prefer is not available at your local clinic, you can ask to be referred to a health facility where the method is available.

Information and counsellingTeen counselling and support

Teen counselling and support

Many clinics now have a dedicated youth service so that young people can get information about family planning in a comfortable environment.

You’ll have access to information on various contraceptive methods in order for you to make informed choices. If a Sexually Transmitted Infection (STI) is detected, it will be treated with medication at the clinic or a referral letter may be given to a special clinic. Once a contraceptive method has been chosen, you’ll be monitored for possible side effects in follow-up visits to the clinic.

You can also access valuable information from the B-Wise programme. The website is easy to navigate via phone or computer and provides information on mental health, teenage pregnancy, family planning and STIs. https://bwisehealth.com  

What are the different methods of contraception? 

Contraceptives are designed to prevent pregnancy. There are various contraceptives that work in different ways. Before deciding on one, take some time to do research to find out which contraceptive will work better for you and your lifestyle.  

Emergency contraception

Emergency contraception also called the morning-after pill is readily available and can be used after you've had unprotected sex to prevent pregnancy. The pill shoud be taken as soon as possible after unprotected sex or if you suspect that your contraception used during intercourse has failed.

Termination of pregnancy

If you are considering terminating your pregnancy, speak to a medical practitioner about the safest methods available to you. The Choice on Termination of Pregnancy Act No. 92 of 1996 gives all women the right to a free abortion (termination of pregnancy), at a government hospital or clinic during the first three months of pregnancy. Women of all ages have the right to an abortion and should never be denied the service because of their age. 
The content on this page was last updated on 30 November 2022