Age of sexual debut related to life-style and reproductive health factors in a group of Swedish teenage girls

Acta Obstet Gynecol Scand. 1996 May;75(5):484-9. doi: 10.3109/00016349609033359.


Aim: To compare life-style and reproductive health care factors in girls with a coitus debut < 15 years of age and girls with a later debut.

Methods: Girls resident in the municipality of Karlstad, Sweden, starting their upper secondary school education were invited to attend the teenage clinic during two years (five visits). Gynecological examinations were performed and questions were asked about possible symptoms, sexual activity, contraception and sexually transmitted diseases.

Results: Ninety-eight girls accepted the invitation to participate and 88 girls completed all visits (mean age on admission 16 years). Median age for coitarche was 16 years. A sexual debut < 15 years was reported by 17 girls (19.3%), 54 (61.4%) had their debut > or = 15 years and 17 girls (19.3%) had not had their sexual debut on completion of this study. Girls with an early sexual debut had a greater number of sexually transmitted diseases (p < 0.05) and more cervical atypias (p < 0.05), and more often had a menarcheal age < 13 years (p < 0.05), > two brothers and/or sisters (p < 0.01), were more often not living with their parents (p < 0.01) and reported a greater number of life-time partners (p < 0.06) than the remainder, Girls with a sexual debut < 15 years started drinking alcohol earlier than others (p < 0.01). There was a greater proportion of smokers among girls with an early sex debut compared to the remainder (p < 0.05).

Conclusions: Early sexual debut is associated with an earlier menarche and a more premature adult life-style and is an important indicator for continued risk behavior regarding reproductive health.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Abortion, Legal
  • Adolescent
  • Age Factors
  • Coitus*
  • Contraception Behavior
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Life Style*
  • Motivation
  • Pregnancy
  • Sexual Behavior*
  • Sexually Transmitted Diseases / epidemiology
  • Sweden / epidemiology