Volume 75, Issue 5 p. 484-489

Age of sexual debut related to life-style and reproductive health factors in a group of Swedish teenage girls

Agneta Andersson-Ellström

Corresponding Author

Agneta Andersson-Ellström

the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology and The Center for Public Health Research and the Gripen District Health Care Center, Karlstad, University of Gothenburg, East Hospital, Gothenburg, Sweden

VC Gripen Box 547, S-651 12, Karlstad, SwedenSearch for more papers by this author
Lars Forssman

Lars Forssman

the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology and The Center for Public Health Research and the Gripen District Health Care Center, Karlstad, University of Gothenburg, East Hospital, Gothenburg, Sweden

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Ian Milsom

Ian Milsom

the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology and The Center for Public Health Research and the Gripen District Health Care Center, Karlstad, University of Gothenburg, East Hospital, Gothenburg, Sweden

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First published: May 1996
Citations: 42

Abstract

Aim. To compare life-style and reproductive health care factors in girls with a coitus debut < 15 years of age and girls with a later debut.

Methods: Girls resident in the municipality of Karlstad, Sweden, starting their upper secondary school education were invited to attend the teenage clinic during two years (five visits). Gynecological examinations were performed and questions were asked about possible symptoms, sexual activity, contraception and sexually transmitted diseases.

Results: Ninety-eight girls accepted the invitation to participate and 88 girls completed all visits (mean age on admission 16 years). Median age for coitarche was 16 years. A sexual debut <15 years was reported by 17 girls (19.3%), 54 (61.4%) had their debut $15 years and 17 girls (19.3%) had not had their sexual debut on completion of this study. Girls with an early sexual debut had a greater number of sexually transmitted diseases (p<0.05) and more cervical atypias (p<0.05), and more often had a menarcheal age <13 years (p<0.05), >two brothers and/or sisters (p<0.01), were more often not living with their parents (p<0.01) and reported a greater number of life-time partners (p<0.06) than the remainder. Girls with a sexual debut <15 years started drinking alcohol earlier than others (p<0.01). There was a greater proportion of smokers among girls with an early sex debut compared to the remainder (p<0.05).

Conclusions. Early sexual debut is associated with an earlier menarche and a more premature adult life-style and is an important indicator for continued risk behavior regarding reproductive health.