Factors influencing age at first conception among adolescents in Iganga district Uganda
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Background The study examined the socioeconomic and demographic factors influencing age at first conception among adolescents in iganga district. Adolescents who had their first sexual intercourse between the ages of 15-19 are significantly associated with high risk of teenage pregnancy. Methods The study used secondary data from the iganga district data set and it was cross sectional where the population of interest was adolescents aged 12-24 years which generated a weighted total of 464 households of the adolescents. Age at first conception was the dependent variable and it was understood as teenage pregnancy, the independent variables were both socioeconomic and demographic and analysis was performed at three levels that is; univariate, bivariate and multivariate analysis to explore the association between the independent variables and age at first conception. Results The study confirmed the association between age at first sex and age at first conception in iganga district eastern Uganda where by 52% of adolescents who had their first sexual intercourse between the ages of 15-19 years experienced high rates of conception. This study shows that age at first conception is highest among adolescents who had their first sexual intercourse between the age of 15-19 years since the odds were 3.929 approximately 4 indicating that the adolescents who had their first sexual intercourse between the age of 15-19 are 4 times likely to conceive more than those who had their first sexual intercourse between the age of 20-24 years, ( OR=3.929, 95% confidence interval=1.003-15.388 and p-value=0.049) which was significant. This calls for the addressing of the issue of having sexual intercourse at an early age by the adolescents through project and policy implementation focusing on adolescents as way to reduce early conception among adolescents in iganga district. Furthermore, integration of sexual and reproductive health into the education curriculum so that the adolescents can get to know the different methods of contraception like condoms which can help to reduce early conception, creating employment opportunities for the parents of the adolescents so that they can provide scholastic materials to the adolescents and avoid engaging in early sexual intercourse because of scholastic materials. Conclusion The study found that there is a significant association between adolescents' age at first sex and adolescents age at first conception and the findings show that conception was highest among adolescents between the age of 15-19 and in conclusion, the adolescents who had their first sexual intercourse in the age range of 15-19 had the highest number of conception as compared to those aged 20-24 years. The study thereby leads to the rejection of the null hypothesis and concludes that age at first sex is highly associated with age at first conception among adolescents in iganga district eastern Uganda.