Bayisa Abdissa, Mesfin Addisie and Wubareg Seifu
Background: Significant numbers of adolescents are involved in sexual activities at an early age which exposes them to the risk of unintended pregnancy, abortion and STIs. Even though, the reproductive health problem of young people is critical among both sexes, adolescent’s girls are more affected because of their biological, economic and social vulnerability. Therefore, this study was designed to assess the prevalence, consequences and associated factors of premarital sex among female students in Ambo University.
Methods and materials: An institutional based crosssectional study was conducted with qualitative inquiry from January to February 2015. Quantitative data were collected from 650 randomly selected female students in Ambo University using a pretested structured questionnaire. The qualitative data were generated through focus group discussions among purposely selected discussants. Odds ratio with 95% confidence interval was estimated using multivariable logistic regression to identify independent predictors of premarital sex while thematic framework analysis was employed for the qualitative data.
Results: About 90 (53.9%) of sexually active respondents reported that they started sex after joining the University. Twenty Eight (16.8%) of sexually active respondents have got pregnant prior to the study period and 15(53.6%) reported history of abortion. The proportion of respondents screened for HIV/AIDS were 56.8% and among this 1.6% had positive results. In the multivariate analysis students who didn’t discussed sexual related issue with their parents [AOR: 7.16; 95% CI (4.39-11.68)], being alcohol consumer [AOR: 3.70; 95% CI (2.04-6.73)] and attending romantic videos/films [AOR: 9.95 (7.69-49.87)] were independent predictors of premarital sex.
Conclusion: Significant number of young females had started sex very early and involved in high risk sexual behavior without condom and family planning methods. These kinds of findings call for family life time education including parent-youth communication education.