Sexual life aspects and contraception in Greek adolescents

Sexual life aspects and contraception in Greek adolescents

S. Sifakis (1), R. Papadaki (1), G. Stratoudakis (1), E. Papadpoulou (2), Y.

Fragouli (3), E. Koumantakis (1)

Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, University of Crete, Heraklion,

Greece (1); Department of Paediatrics, University of Crete, Heraklion, Greece

(2); Department of Hygiene and Epidemiology, University of Athens, Greece (3)

Introduction: The knowledge of the current opinions and attitudes

regarding the sexuality and contraception among Greek adolescents is important

to plan a strategy of prevention of the sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) and

the avoidance of unwanted pregnancies.

Design & Methods: One hundred and sixty Greek adolescents answered

a questionnaire about theirs sexual activity and behaviour as well as their

knowledge about contraception. The participation in the study was voluntary and


Results: 113 (70.6%) of the participants were female and 47 (29.4%)

were male. The mean age was 17.3 years (15–18 years). The Greek teenagers

prefer to have a regular partner (65%) and they want to build up their

relationship on a combination of understanding and sexual pleasure (76%). Sexual

activity starts at the age of 17 for 43% of the teenagers, probably later than

in other European and American countries. The majority of the participants (86%)

consider contraception essential in avoiding STDs and unwanted pregnancies. The

most used contraceptive methods are male condom (56%), following by coitus

interruptus (18%) and oral contraceptive pill (10%). Most of the adolescents

(79%) have a negative point of view regarding the use of intrauterine devices,

mainly due to the risk of contraception failure, pelvic inflammatory disease and

ectopic pregnancy. The use of barrier contraceptives such as diaphragm and

sponges is extremely rare, while they almost ignore the use of spermicides. The

knowledge regarding contraception is mainly derived by friends or the sexual

partners and to a lesser degree by the media. 62% of the teenagers choose a

contraceptive method after discussion with the erotic partner. They believe that

information about contraception should be provided by professionals (54%), as

well as from the parents (35%).

Conclusions: The provided information regarding aspects of sexual life,

especially the need of contraception and the protection by STDs, should be given

by well-organized programs, with a primary role of the physicians. The use rate

of oral pills remains low, and the education of the teenagers regarding the

advantages of such a contraceptive method has to be further enhanced.

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