Child marriage is linked by poverty and has many effects on girls’ health: increased risk of sexually transmitted diseases, cervical cancer, malaria, death during childbirth, and obstetric fistulas. Girls are at increased risk of experiencing premature birth and death as neonates, infants, or children. There is a direct focus between marital relationships and physical health.
Health issues associated with Child Marriage:
Commonly, early marriages marriage before the age of 18 are seen in developing countries and child brides can face serious, life-threatening issues like:
- Obstetric complications during childbirth
- Cervical cancer
- Unplanned pregnancy
- Malnutrition in offspring
Child marriage is an old practice that in so many places happens simply because it has happened for generations. In a few communities, when girls start to menstruate, they become women in the eyes of the community. Marriage is, therefore, the next step towards giving a girl her status as a wife and mother.
Child marriages and depression:
Young girls who are married at an early age can also face psychiatric problems like depression and stress-related disorders. It is usually because they have responsibilities thrust upon them at a very early age which at most times they are unable to cope with.
There is a need to educate women with regards to contraception to delay first pregnancy if they are married at an early age. Most importantly marriage at a young age when a girl is neither physically nor emotionally mature can undermine her ability to make informed, appropriate and healthy decisions about her life.