A descriptive study of the university students about their knowledge on reproductive health and assessment of their needs

A descriptive study of the university students about their knowledge on

reproductive health and assessment of their needs

A.N.Özaydin Gülersoy, Y.B. Aslan, A.A. Elshair, M. Hashim

Department of Public Health, Marmara University School of Medicine,

Istanbul, Turkey

Introduction: Turkey’s shape is like a bridge between Asia and

Europe and the population is over 70 million. It has young population; around

50% of the population is under age of 20, 98% of population is Muslim but Turkey

a secularized country. Turkey is a developing country. There are not in routine

established programs about reproductive health in any of the formal education in

Turkey. Besides there are not sufficient reproductive health services for the

young population. On the other hand the university life may give young people

some extra freedom and opportunities. But also creates risks such as unwanted

pregnancies and sexually transmitted infections in the big cities. Marmara

University is located in Istanbul, which is the biggest city of Turkey.

Aims and Methods: This study was carried out in order to determine the

knowledge and needs of university students about RH and RH services in Turkey.

The university students who participated in this study had come from different

cities of Turkey. A descriptive study was applied in April 2003, among the

preparatory school students of the Marmara University in Istanbul. Data were

analyzed in SPSS 11.05.

Results: In this study, data was collected from the 723 students (Female:

47.4%, male: 52.6%). Most of them were single (98.9%). The average age was 20

(minimum: 18, maximum: 22). Merely 27.4 of them had experienced intercourse. The

average age of the first intercourse was 16.5+1.1 for males and 17.9+1.1

for females. Only 26.3% of males and 36.7% of females could know the exact days

carrying the risk for pregnancy. When it was asked about their current

contraceptive method usage, 46.6% of the males and 9.3% of the females reported

that they were using condoms and 18.2% of males and 7.6% of females said that

they were using withdrawal. Even though they have heard about AIDS, only half of

them had used condom in their last intercourse. Almost all of the students

(85.5% of males, 92.1 of females) stated that both men and women should be

responsible from deciding on the intercourse and to use any contraceptive

methods, but only 35% of males and 53.7% of females had decided that with their

spouses in their first intercourse.

Conclusion: It was found that the young students, which have just

finished the high school and just begun the university and newly begun to live

in the biggest cities of Turkey, are under the high risks of unwanted

pregnancies and STI. Education programs about RH at the universities should be

implemented into the formal education and the RH services into the routine

school health activities.

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