Reproductive health state of adolescents and connection with some life habits

Sexually transmitted diseases, especially ones caused by human papillomavirus (HPV), are an important cause of reproductive health disorders in young people. The aim of this study was to analyze the association of some behavior factors with the state of reproductive health in women having sought help at Youth Counseling Center, Department of School and University Medicine, Dr Andrija Štampar Institute of Public Health in Zagreb. The questionnaires and medical records of 579 adolescents aged 15-26 years, surveyed and reviewed in 2006 and 2007, were retrospectively analyzed. The mean age of adolescents was 20.3 years, the age at first sexual intercourse 17.5 years, and 64% of them had their first gynecologic examination. Only 34% of girls showed full knowledge about reproductive health, and for 47.1% of them the source of information were professionals; 21.8% of subjects had three or more sexual partners; 33.2% of them had partners that had three or more sexual partners themselves; and 28.8% smoked cigarettes every day. The prevalence of pathologically altered Pap tests in female adolescents was 58.0%: mainly due to the low level of squamous intraepithelial lesion (34.9%) and inflammation (23.1%); 12.1% of adolescents had changes characteristic of HPV infection, and the high-risk HPV type was detected in 21.4% of them. Study results showed a significantly higher risk of abnormal Pap test results in adolescents whose former partner number was three or more and in those that were in relationship with a partner who also had three or more sexual partners (OR 1.8), and those who smoked cigarettes on a daily basis (OR 2.1). The increased risk was not confirmed in female adolescents reporting irregular condom use (OR 1.03). The results indicated the importance of introducing highschool counseling and academic centers that may early include and take care of couples and to preserve the reproductive health of young people.
Category: Original scientific paper
Volume: Vol. 55, No 3, july - september 2011
Authors: H. Vranješ, M. Džepina, V. Juhović Markus
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