Sexual Initiation and Contraceptive Use among Female Youths in Ambo Town

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Addis Abeba Universty


Background: Early sexual debut may be linked to reproductive health problems later in life. In addition, both the timing of first sex and contraceptive use are affected by a variety of factors and this makes the consequences of youth sexuality much more serious. It is important to understand what influences youths‟ sexual initiation, the need to use contraceptive methods and the consequences of these behaviours. These may affect the design and implementation of effective early pregnancy and disease prevention strategies. Objectives: The aim of this study was to determine the age at first sexual intercourse, contraceptive use and related factors among female youths in Ambo town. Methods: A cross-sectional community-based study was conducted in Ambo town of West Shoa Zone, Oromia Regional State between January and February, 2013. Two kebeles out of three were randomly selected. Multistage cluster sampling technique was used to draw sample size of 675. Then, households were selected by systematic sampling technique. Structured and pretested questionnaire and semi structured FGD guide was employed to collect data. Descriptive statistics such as frequencies, percentages and graphs were used. To determine the association between dependent and independent variables, odds ratio with 95% confidence interval was computed. Logistic regression was also employed to assess possible factors. Result: Overall, nearly half, 48.7% of the surveyed participants have ever had sex. The median age at first sex being 17 years while; the mean ± SD age was 16.7±2.1.Multivariate analysis showed that age group of 20-24[AOR= 7.35, (95%CI 4.80, 11.26)], those who attend, at least secondary education [AOR = 3.09 (95%CI;1.44, 6.66)], those who encouraged by their friends to have boyfriend [AOR = 2.09 (95% CI; (1.42, 3.06), ever drank alcohol [AOR = 5.76 (95 % CI; 3.57, 9.31), and ever watched pornographic materials[AOR =1.78(95%CI; 1.19, 2.66)]were more likely to initiate sex. Knowledge of at least one contraceptive method was 95.4% and overall contraceptive current use was 37.3%. Multivariate analysis shows that age group of 20-24 [AOR= 3.22, (95%CI 2.08, 4.98)] and youths with partners who have discussed about the method [AOR= 2.15 (95%CI, 1.38, 3.34)] were more likely to use contraceptives. Currently unmarried [AOR= 0.17 (95%CI, (0.09, 0.31)] was less likely to use contraception compared to currently married. As the qualitative data suggested, the perceived age at sexual debut among young girls is very early. Conclusion and Recommendation: Substantial amount of female youths had started sexualactivity that might expose them to different reproductive health problems. Thus, early sexual initiation coupled with very low contraceptive use among youth females is a potential risk of the development of sexual and reproductive health problems. Therefore, in view of our finding, an active effort to promote sexuality education and contraceptive use should be intensified among female youths in the town, particularly young women, in making informed decisions about sexual intercourse and contraceptive uses.



Sexual Initiation and Contraceptive Use among Female Youths in Ambo Town