A WAGGA obstetrician has called for better sex education as a way of reducing the number of teen mothers in the city.
Doctor Mohamed Foda said increasing work hours, declining family ties and readily-available sexually explicit material are leading to increasing numbers of teenage pregnancy.
Dr Foda was speaking following the launch a new obstetrics and gynaecology practice that is expected to satisfy Wagga’s demand for pregnancy specialists.
Yesterday, the number of teenage mothers in the Murrumbidgee Local Heath District was raised as a real concern.
“Teen pregnancy is increasing all over the world,” Dr Foda said.
“We’ve identified this problem and it should be targeted by different means of education.”
Teenage mothers are aged 19 years or younger.
Dr Foda said teens were becoming more sexually active and less aware of the education services available to them.
He said parents should talk to their children about sex in a more open way.
“Parents having to work more hours in order to get their essential resources has made the family less linked and less attached,” Dr Foda said.
“It’s built barriers between parents and their children.”
We should encourage children to be more liberal in their thinking and to discuss … methods like contraception as well as the risk of sexually transmitted infections.”
Dr Foda said the teenage-parent baby boom also has much to do with the prominence of sexually explicit material in the information age.
“All this information was not available to previous generations,” he said.
“This sexually explicit sort of material is available on the internet where younger children can access it.
“TV programs, as well, which are not for under 18s, are still being watched by youngsters and all this contributes to what we see now with increasing teen pregnancies.”
Dr Foda, having joined forces with Dr Nita Dhupar in private practice, brings the total number of practicing gynaecologists and obstetricians in Wagga to four.
“This is a good force that you can carry on to ensure safety for mothers and babies.”