Iranian Adolescent Girls and Sexual and Reproductive Health Information and Services: A Qualitative Study

Document Type : Original Article


1 Assistant Professor, Department of Midwifery, School of Medicine, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran.

2 Ph.D. Student of Reproductive Health, School of Nursing and Midwifery, Shahroud University of Medical Sciences, Shahroud, Iran.

3 Assistant Professor, Department of Community Medicine, School of Medicine, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.

4 Assistant Professor, Department of Psychiatry, Golestan Psychiatry Research Center, School of Medicine, Golestan University of Medical Sciences, Gorgan, Iran.


Introduction: Adolescence is the age of challenges and opportunities. Nowadays, the transition to adulthood, without adequate awareness about sexual and reproductive health information and services is much more difficult than before. The aim of this study was exploring the views and experiences of adolescent girls and key adults regarding to the necessity of providing sexual and reproductive health information and services for adolescent girls in Iran.
Methods: This qualitative study was conducted during February to November 2012. Data were gathered through focus groups and semi-structured interview with 247 adolescent girls and 71 key adults include mothers, school counselors, health providers, state and non-governmental directors of health programs, health policymakers, sociologists and clergies in Shahroud, Mashhad, Tehran, and Qom cities of Iran. All interviews were recorded and transcribed. Data were coded and categorized in content-analysis by MAXQDA10.
Results: The main reasons for the necessity of providing sexual and reproductive health services for adolescent girls were categorized in six categories: lack of adequate knowledge about sexual and reproductive health, easy access to inaccurate information sources, cultural and social changes, increasing risky sexual behaviors among adolescents, religion's emphasis on sex training of children and adolescents and existence of cultural taboos.
Conclusion: Most of participants confirmed the necessity of providing sexual and reproductive health services for adolescent girls. Provision of these services should be a priority not only for medical concerns but also for religious, social and developmental perspectives.


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