Student soapbox: teenage pregnancies
Paul Greaves queries whether intervention really works
The senior house officer (SHO) covering the gynaecology clinic that morning returned to the nurses' room with an unusual request for advice from her registrar. After a morning filled with the usual speculums, pessaries, and smears, a young girl arrived with her father complaining of a missed period. Any attempt to find out how long this had been going on for was met with a shrug. An abdominal examination soon revealed the true extent of the problem - a swelling consistent with a pregnancy of at least 16 weeks.
“What happened?” There was the same response - a shrug. “When did you have sex?” “A couple of months ago.” Asking the father to leave, believing that his presence could be inhibiting the girl, the SHO asked again. She'd been raped by “a friend's mate.” Whether or not this was the truth, there was no doubting the reality of the situation.