Out of five billion of the world’s population, there are now more than one billion teenagers – young people between the ages of ten and nineteen who will become parents in the near future. Preserving and strengthening the health of adolescents is the most important task, since only healthy parents are able to have healthy children.
Features of adolescent reproductive health
It is known that in adolescence there is a clear discrepancy between the processes of physiological maturation and the degree of social and moral development. This discrepancy provokes several irresponsible sexual behaviors, a frequent change of partners. Reproductive and sexual behavior of adolescents distinguish characteristic features:
- rather early entry of girls and boys into sexual relations (an average of fifteen and a half years);
- in half the cases – premarital sexual relations, cohabitation;
- increased interest in different types of eroticism;
- an increase in the distance between the attitudes of previous generations and the sexual behavior of young people;
- double standard in relations between men and women.
The growth of adolescent sexuality and the liberalization of sexual morality are accompanied not only by an increase in the number of diseases that are sexually transmitted, but also by the increase in the number of unplanned pregnancies and conceptions. Teenage sexuality is often characterized by irresponsibility.
Adolescent contraception: statistics
Adolescent girls ten years ago most often used incomplete sexual intercourse (in 62.6% of cases), the frequency of application of this method has now decreased to 29.7% of cases among girls – students of technical schools and up to 8.2% among schoolgirls. The most common today is the use of a male condom among 60.8% of schoolchildren and 75.7% among schoolgirls (before was 40%). Ten years ago, the use of oral contraceptives was noted only in isolated cases. But even now this method is not widely used, it is used by only 5% of girls.
Approximately 3.8% of girls use the introduction of an intrauterine device, 5.7% – abstinence from sexual intercourse in acceptable days of conception. Often used the method of emergency contraception. There remains a high number of adolescent girls who live sexually, but are not protected from pregnancy. Most often, girls who study in a technical school are not prevented from becoming pregnant.
What to do: expert opinion
Experts of the World Health Organization have developed an action strategy for the protection of adolescent reproductive health. The goal is to form a more responsible attitude of adolescents of different sexes to each other, reduce the number of pregnancies until the time of reaching social and sexual maturity, reduce the risks of contracting diseases that are sexually transmitted; strengthen the health of mother and child; ensure greater accessibility of appropriate medical and social services to preserve reproductive health. True, it is not so easy to realize good intentions.