Sexual health of adolescents in India: a female scenario from NFHS-3

Ratna Deep Gupta
Temsumeren Longkumer

The share of adolescents engaging in sexual activity has increased over the past decades. Despite the growing attention to prevention and health education, recent data indicate that the rates of unintended pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections (STI) remain higher for young adults than older adults and higher than the rates in India. This paper exclusively focuses on adolescent girls from age 15-19 examining about their sexual health scenario where the data sources were extracted from the NFHS-3. This NFHS-3 interviewed a total of 124385 women age 15-49, out of which 24811 adolescents were filtered for analysis. About 27.7 percent had reported to have ever had sex at the time of the survey out of where 3 percent had pre-marital sex while 24 percent had sex at their first union. The mean age at sexual debut is 16.98 and majority (26%) did not use condom at their first sexual encounter only .8 percent were reported to have had been used. Nearly 4 % were pregnant with their first child and around 12 percent had a live birth and about 16 percent had begun childbearing. And about 2.5 percent had terminated their pregnancy. For currently married adolescent, majority used modern method of contraception such as condom followed by pill and among the sexually active unmarried adolescent majority used condom followed by injectables. For traditional method married adolescent used Rhythm method followed by withdrawal method and for sexually active adolescent majority used Withdrawal method followed by Rhythm method. Around 1.4 percent had STI and 22.7 percent had bad smelling, abnormal genital discharge, genital score or ulcer. Only 4.2 percent of the adolescent household is covered by health insurance scheme. Majority of the adolescent reported that problem in accessing health care services is the distance to health facility followed concern that no provider available.

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Presented in Poster Session 2