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Reproductive Choices for Asian Adolescents: A Focus on Contraceptive Behavior

Saroj Pachauri and K.G. Santhya
International Family Planning Perspectives
Vol. 28, No. 4 (Dec., 2002), pp. 186-195
Published by: Guttmacher Institute
DOI: 10.2307/3088221
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3088221
Page Count: 10
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Reproductive Choices for Asian Adolescents: A Focus on Contraceptive Behavior
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Abstract

Context: Adolescents constitute a large and growing proportion of many Asian populations; thus, their knowledge and use of contraceptives have major implications for both public health and population growth. Methods: Data from Demographic and Health Surveys, other national surveys and studies conducted during the last decade are used to examine the contraceptive behaviors of Asian adolescents. The analysis includes Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka in South Asia, as well as Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam in Southeast Asia. Results: Although awareness of contraception is almost universal among married adolescents, knowledge of specific methods and sources of supplies is limited. Use of modern methods varies considerably among countries, from 2% of adolescents in Pakistan to 44% in Indonesia. In general, however, contraceptive prevalence is lower in South Asia than in Southeast Asia. Although there has been a substantial increase in contraceptive use among adolescents, unmet need remains high, ranging from 9% in Indonesia to 41% in Nepal. The vast majority of unmarried, sexually active adolescents either do not use any contraceptives or use traditional methods. Conclusions: Asian adolescents need accurate information about sexuality, reproduction and contraception as well as user-friendly reproductive health services. Intervention research is needed to identify appropriate strategies to address these needs.

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