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Year : 2019  |  Volume : 8  |  Issue : 10  |  Page : 3350-3355

Perceptions and preferences regarding sex and contraception, amongst adolescents

1 Public Health Specialist, Tema General Hospital, Tema, Ghana
2 Intern Dayanand Medical College and Hospital, Ludhiana, Punjab, India
3 Government Medical College, Patiala, Punjab, India
4 Department of Biotechnology, Punjabi University, Patiala, Punjab, India
5 PCMS MO, Punjab, India
6 JR Hero DMC Heart Institute, Dayanand Medical College and Hospital, Ludhiana, Punjab, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Siriesha Patnaik
Intern Dayanand Medical College and Hospital, Ludhiana, Punjab
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jfmpc.jfmpc_676_19

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Introduction: Conceptually and by the outlook, the reproductive and sexual health needs of adolescents differ from those of adults. Adolescent girls are coerced into unwanted sex or marriage, putting them at risk of unwanted pregnancies, unsafe abortions, sexually transmitted infections (STIs) including HIV, and dangerous childbirth. A majority of young people do not have correct information on the use of contraceptives or the prevention of pregnancy and STIs, and youth-friendly reproductive health services are not readily available. Materials and Methods: A community-based cross-sectional study conducted among school-going 500 adolescent girls in the field practice area of Urban Health Training Centre, Tripuri, of Government Medical College, Patiala (Punjab). A survey with semi-structured, self-administered, and pretested questionnaire was conducted to collect the information on demographic characteristics, and knowledge and perceptions about safe sex. Results: Only 39.71% of girls were aware that the legal age of marriage of girls in India is 18 years. About 22% of girls said that they would prefer to have pre-marital sex and majority, out of them, belonged to nuclear families. Around 38.4% of girls knew that condom is the safest contraceptive method but a preferred choice of contraceptive method among the girls for condoms (24.40%), oral pills (20.20%), and emergency pill (19.60%). Conclusion: Choice of the method with lower levels of knowledge regarding STIs and 22% preferring premarital sex may expose them to higher risks. Increasing trends of pre-marital sex with lower levels of awareness about contraception and STIs is very detrimental.

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