Adolescence is the period of physical, psychological and social maturation from childhood to an adult. The term adolescent refers to individuals between the age of 10-19 years which make up about 1/5th of Indian population. Adolescents complete their physical, psychological and emotional journey to adulthood in a world that contains both opportunities and dangers. Adolescents are at risk of early and unwanted pregnancy because of poor understanding of their sexuality and sometimes the only information sources available to them are media and peers. They are not aware of contraceptive measures and teenage pregnancy results in increased morbidity and mortality .They are also at increased risk of STDs including HIV and Hep B,C because of unprotected sexual practices .So, awareness about STDs is essential as it can later on cause pelvic inflammatory disease(PID) and infertility in girls.
Education is key:
Understand & guide adolescents:
Adolescents are at risk for smoking, alcohol intake and drug abuse. They should be taught about their ill effects and that they should refrain from using them. Smoking can cause cancers, infertility, hypertension, heart disease and premature death. So, drugs are like poisons for everyone. Vaccination of teenage girls against Rubella, cancer cervix (Gardasil, Cervarix) is advised .Hepatitis B, Chicken pox vaccination should be offered to both boys and girls. Adolescents have significant needs for health services. Adequate care and support should be given to them so that they enter into their adulthood in good mental and physical health.