The birds and the bees—and birth.
Don't reflect for a twinkling second that 10 years of age is too young to learn about sex and sexuality.
Pregnancy can transpire when a girl starts ovulating, which is happening more and more often at younger ages.
A 10-year-old Wayuu member, an indigenous tribe in northern Colombia has proven just that. The unidentified girl from Manaure gave birth to a healthy baby girl, making her as one of the youngest mothers to ever give birth.
“The average age girls in the country start menstruating is about 12 and a half, but that age keeps dropping,” states Dr. Kimberly Gecsi, an OB/GYN at UH Case Medical Center in Cleveland.
“The baby’s head needs to come through a bony outlet. But in a young girl, the pelvis may not be ready or big enough to deliver a baby,” states Dr. Gecsi.
Because ovulation comes before menstruation, girls can get pregnant before ever having a period. How many 10 year old girls are aware of this?
“These girls are not ready to be pregnant. Their bodies are not mature,” states Dr. Frederick Gonzalez, clinical professor of obstetrics and gynecology at NYU Langone Medical Center. “They may be able to get pregnant, but being able to have a baby is a whole other situation.”
How often is this happening? How can we teach our children that their body is not yet built to carry a child?
In the United States, the average age for first sexual interaction for girls-17.4…for boys, 16.9.
But the numbers in Columbia are lower. Children of that age are rarely at an appropriate developmental stage to physically or mentally handle the situation without complications.
It is a heart-wrenching situation.
“We’ve already seen several cases in girls of the Wayuu ethnicity,” indicated Efraín Pacheco Casadiego, director of the hospital where the baby was born. “When in fact they should be playing with dolls, they are having to care for a baby. This is shocking.”
The Dangers of Teen Pregnancy
— The pelvis is not defined for natural childbirth
— The vagina may endure injury during a natural birth
— High risk for preeclampsia, a pregnancy condition marked by high blood pressure
— High risk for fetal growth restriction and chromosomal abnormalities
— Higher occurrence of stillbirth
— High risk of developing fatty liver, which can be fatal
To learn more about the pre-teen pregnancy, find an OB/GYN near you.Sources
The information on this site is not a substitute for diagnosis or treatment from a licensed medical practitioner. If you are experiencing a serious medical condition call your local emergency services or your doctor.