Stages and types of teenage pregnancy

Types and stages of teenage pregnancy?

Pregnancy is categorised in different ways. We will categorise it according to the places where the foetus develops and the number of foetus.

  • Intrauterine pregnancy: this is the most common type of pregnancy where the embryo gets implanted on the uterine lining and develops in the uterus. It is the safest unless the mother has issues with the underdeveloped pelvic bone, which most teenagers due, no enough blood in the body and if the baby’s head is bigger than the cervix and vagina, a common challenge to teen mums.
  • Ectopic pregnancy: the fallopian tubes’ inner lining has cilia which push the fertilised ovum into the womb. In this case however, the implanting and developing occurs in the fallopian tube or outside but not in the womb. There are different types of ectopic pregnancies.

Tubal ectopic pregnancy: occurs when the embryo is implanted in the fallopian tube.

Non tubal ectopic pregnancy: occurs when the embryo implantation occurs anywhere else apart from the fallopian tube or the womb.

Heterotopic ectopic pregnancy: this is where one embryo implants inside the uterus while the other anywhere outside the womb. Mostly occurs in cases of multiple pregnancy.

Most people carrying an ectopic pregnancy however do not even realize they were pregnant since they are likely to miscarry.

Causes of ectopic pregnancies

  • Age: though this does not apply to us teenagers, but women above 35 years are at a greater risk of ectopic pregnancies.
  • Drug abuse: especially smoking.
  • Contraceptives: some, like the coil can increase ones’ risk to an ectopic pregnancy.
  • Fertility treatments: these are drugs used to stimulate conception, they can predispose one to ectopic pregnancies.
  • Abnormality in the fallopian tube: if there is an abnormality in the tube maybe caused by previous surgery, scarring, a previous womb infection, it increases ones’ chances since the ovum can easily get attached to the lining of the tube.
  • Previous ectopic pregnancy: this also predisposes the woman to another pregnancy of the kind.
  • Disease: STIs or pelvic inflammatory disease increases ones’ chances of carrying an ectopic pregnancy. The PID bacteria often spreads to the cervix, vagina, uterus and even the fallopian tubes. Common STIs that causes this is like gonorrhoea and chlamydia.
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How to manage an ectopic pregnancy?

If discovered early, ectopic pregnancies are often removed since it can cause severe complications and even kill the mother. The only way to give birth if one has an ectopic is through caesarean delivery.

  • Multiple pregnancy: this is where a sperm fertilises one egg which then breaks down into two or when two sperms fertilise one egg which then disintegrates into two. This type of fertilisation often results into identical or non-identical twins.
  • Single pregnancy: this is where the egg is fertilised by one sperm and it does not divide. So only a single foetus develops.

Stages of pregnancy

Pregnancy is composed of three trimesters, each stage made up of three months.

During the first trimester, usually between conception and the third month, the first and most important sign is a missed period. The body is just adapting to the huge production of the pregnancy hormone hence signs like weight loss or gain in some women, mood swings, constipation since the digestive system has slowed down to increase the absorption of nutrients, loss or increase of appetite and maybe craving or dislike of certain food types, exhaustion which may result to sleepiness due to the progesterone hormone, tender and swollen breasts due to the rising of the pregnancy hormones, morning sickness which involves nausea and vomiting, frequent urination since as the foetus continues to develop, the uterus grows bigger and pushes against the bladder, heartburn may also occur in some women, the pulse rate is likely to increase as the woman’s heart works harder to supply the uterus with the additional blood it needs for the foetus. The embryo at this stage starts developing major organs like the heart, brain, spinal cord, the arms and legs. The foetus major organs start to function, like the heart starts to beat, sex organs begin to form, the umbilical cord starts to show, the facial features start developing, fingers and toes start forming, the legs and arms grow longer. If one goes for an ultra sound, they are likely to hear its heartbeats.  The nervous system begins to function, the external sex organs starts to show and the foetus gender can be checked at this point, eyelids shut to protect the developing eye. The foetus is about three inches. Most miscarriages and foetal defects occur at this stage.

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The second trimester begins from four months to six months. The signs vary from one woman to the next. Morning sickness is likely to lessen or stop completely, exhaustion may reduce because the body has adjusted to the hormonal changes. One may feel the foetal movements and the baby bump may begin to show since the uterus has grown beyond the pelvis, the skin on the growing bump may itch. Pain particularly in the back, thighs, abdomen, numb hands, feet, fingers, swelling of the feet and hands.  The muscles and skeleton keep forming on the foetus, the lungs form but do not yet work, taste buds form on the foetus tongue, hair grows on the head, it can kick, bone marrow begins to make blood cells, fingerprints and footprints are formed, the testicles begin to descend to the scrotum if it’s a boy, if a girl the ovaries and uterus is formed, the kidneys start working and can produce urine, the skin has a wrinkled appearance. The foetus sleeps and wakes on a regular routine, a fine hair and a waxy coating cover and protect the thin foetal skin, the brain is rapidly developing. The foetus weighs about 1.5 pounds and about 3 to 5 inches long.

This is from the seventh to the ninth month. During the third trimester, the mother is likely to experience difficulty in breathing since the uterus pushes against her diaphragm, short of breath since the lungs have little room to expand, difficulty in sleeping, signs of false labour due to contractions, the foetus moving lower in the abdomen, tender breasts which could start producing watery milk, frequent urination, she may have swollen body parts like feet because of the fluid retention due to slowed blood circulation. Most times signs from the previous stages will carry on to this. However, these vary from one woman to the next. The foetus bones are fully formed though soft, kicking increases, eyes open and close and they can even respond to light and sound, lungs practice breathing though not fully formed, the foetus starts storing vital minerals, the vernix thickens, body fat increases, the baby turns head down as the term nears. The average birth weight is 6 pounds and length 19 to around 21, again this could vary from one baby to another depending on the mother’s practices during pregnancy and of course their genes.

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