of the Philippines
on Sexual And Reproductive Health Among Adolescents Attending Senior High
School in Mindanao State University General Santos City
WHO’s definition of health as a state
of complete physical, mental and social well- being, and not merely the absence
of disease or infirmity, reproductive health addresses the reproductive
process, functions and system at all stages of life. Reproductive health,
therefore, implies that people are able to have a responsible, satisfying and
safe sex life and that they have the capability to reproduce and the freedom to
decide if, when and how often to do so (WHO, 2017).
As of 2013 data update, approximately
five million adolescent women currently live in the Philippines; they for
nearly one fifth (19%) of all women of reproductive age (15-49 years old). Adolescence
period is a transition period from childhood to adulthood characterized by physical
growth, hormonal changes, social and emotional development (UNICEF, 2011).
Adolescents are exposed into too many
risks and become vulnerable to problems that can have a long term impact on
their lives. Despite on the efforts made by different institutions in the
society to educate the adolescents on reproductive health, still there is an increase
in the reported high risks level in
sexual and reproductive health problems in the population such as HIV/AIDS,
STD’s, early pregnancies and abortions. 15% of adolescents Filipino women in
2013 reported ever having had sex. Among women aged 18-24, 19% said they had
sex before age 18. This proportion was for higher than average among the
poorest women (36%) and slightly higher than average among those living in
Due to ignorance or possession of
inadequate or improper knowledge on reproductive health most adolescents face
critical health status. Studies indicate that more knowledge leads to less
reproduction health problems. The most useful way to reduce problems associated
with sex is sexual education because it educates adolescents on safe sex,
abstinence and contraceptive use. Also it makes them become more responsible in
making decisions about their life ( Khoza, 2004).
Through these stated facts, it shows
that there is a need in assessing tye knowledge that adolescent possess and
then formulate a plan for strategies for helping them by addressing the
knowledge gaps because through awareness about HIV/AIDS, abortion, early
pregnancies and other related factors, sexual and related risks behaviours
among adolescents can be reduced.
The general objective of this study is
to assess the knowledge on reproductive health among adolescents in Senior High
School-MSU GENSAN. This is to determine what knowledge do the adolescents possess
on sexual and reproductive health problems and to determine the sources from
which adolescents seek for informations.
Sources of Information and Adolescents
Positive Environment’s Support
Access to information and
communication service is now seen as a universal right, and the United Nations
is advocating for a global initiative for such access within this decade.
Adolescents are known to obtain information about sexual and reproductive
health from a variety of sources such as through course books, mass media,
parents, teachers, peers, government and nongovernmental organizations.
Most common source in a traditional way
of searching informations is through reading books, magazines, journals and
other reading materials. Topics related to sexual and reproductive health are available
in many published books wherein adolescents can use as a medium of information.
But as globalization takes place and the use of television, radios, and
specially the internet, informations are easily spread through advertisements,
tv shows and websites giving facts and related topics to sexual and
Meanwhile, we cannot ignore the
presence of family in the society. Parents are a major influence on their children’s
lives, and therefore adolescents are more likely to respond to sexual and reproductive
health programs which include support from their homes and family. Family are
considered to be a role model in shaping the perception of adolescents on gender
roles and they can influence the choices of their children in making their own
sexual behavior. Perents and other family members often have the greater power
in guiding childrens development toward their sexual and reproductive health.
They can help their children develop and practice responsible sexual behavior
and personal decision making.
Moreover, not all parents are equally knowledgeable
about sexuality or feel comfortable in diacussing it with their children. Rooe
of teachers at school is now responsible in providing consistent and medically
accurate information that many students do not receive at home for they
considered as the second parents of the students. School environment offers sex
education lessons which support and reflect the informations about sex and relationships.
Sex education is mainly taught in public and some in private schools discussing
abstinence and reproduction to sexually orientation and sexually transmitted
diseases. It is very important because it informs students about issues related
to sex and sexual health.
Access to correct and meaningful
information on sexual and reproductive issues are among the greatest challenges
for Filipino society. Various governmental and nongovernmental programs have
introduced sexual and reproductive health education in both formal and informal
ways and with varying degrees of success. The Responsible Parenthood and
Reproductive Health Act of 2012 ( Republic Act No. 10354), which is also known
as the Reproductive Health Law or RH Law is a law in the Philippines that insures
universal access to methods on contraception, fertility control, sexual
education and maternal care. Government and othe nongovernment organizations
fund and conduct a widespread distribution of family planning devices such as
condoms, birth control pills and IUD’s, as the government continues to spread
information on their use through all health care centers.
Adolescents’ Sexual and Reproductive Health
Reproductive health has been defined
by the World Health Organization as the total well-being in all aspects of reproduction,
i.e, physical, behavioral social and mental health. As the adolescents become
eligible to reproduce, it is essential to inform them about consequences of
unsafe sexual practices and early pregnancy. Sexual health problems are the
result of conditions, either in an individual, a relationship or a society that
require specific action for this identification, prevention and treatment (WHO,2017).
The WHO assessed in 2008 that reproductive and sexual ill-health accounts for
20% of the global burden of ill-health for women and 14% for men.
STI and HIV/AIDS
transmitted infection (STI) or formally called as sexually transmitted disease(STD)
or venereal disease (VD) is an infection that has a significant likelihood of
transmission between humans by means of sexual activity.
As per defined
by the Department of Health, AIDS is an Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome, it
is the appearance of clinical manifestation of HIV infection. In this state,
the person presents with opportunistic infections of unlimited extents and
possibilities. They also present with a typical presentation and severity.
Person with AIDS is prone to aggressive kinds of cancer.
HIV, on the
other hand, is a viral infection that attacks and slowly destroys the immune system
of the infected person that leads to “immune deficiency”. It is progressive
and can lead to lack of body defense to all kinds of infection including those
that don’t normally infect MDS and can also lead to cancer susceptibility.
Pregnancies and Abortion
Sexual activity among young people is
becoming more common in the Philippines..Despite the taboo against premarital
sex, many women report such behavior: In 2008, the median age of marriage among
young women was nearly a year later than the median age at first sexual
experience (22.1 vs. 21.3 years). Filipino women are also giving birth earlier:
Among first-time mothers, the proportion who were teenagers increased from 20%
in 2000 to 27% in 2010. Adolescent females are particularly at risk of
unintended pregnancy because they lack access to comprehensive sex education
and contraceptive supplies.
Teenage pregnancy is defined as an unintended
pregnancy during adolescence. Approximately 750,000 of 15- to 19-year-olds
become pregnant each year, according to The American College of Obstetricians
and Gynecologists, though many teenagers do not believe that they will get
pregnant if they engage in sexual activity.
Of the hundreds of thousands of
Filipino women who have unintended pregnancies each year, many face a difficult
choice: either give birth to a child they are not prepared or able to care for,
or obtain a clandestine, and often unsafe, abortion. Because abortion is highly
stigmatized and punishable by law, it is extremely challenging to directly
estimate the number of abortions in the Philippines, as both women and
providers are likely to not report the procedure. Teenage abortions are
surprisingly common, but unavoidably traumatic. The growing exposure of teens
to help them explore their sexuality without the right sex education can lead
to physical relationships, which often lead to STDs, and, in some cases,
pregnancies and subsequent abortions.
Sexual and Reproductive Health Services
Available for Adolescents
Education at School
sex education which gives informations about sex and relationships. It discusses
abstinence and conducts an orientation related to reproduction and specially on
sexually transmitted diseases.
a professional, confidential and private conversation between counselor and
client for the purpose of helping client to explore difficulties he or she is
facing, dissatisfaction or experience BACP, (2002). Counseling and testing
services for young people where various topics were discussed such as
correctness using of condoms, other contraceptives than condoms, how to avoid
STI and AIDS, and types of sexual intimacy that do not end up with transmission
of HIV/AIDS. This action was very successful as many youth got the opportunity
to give out their difficulties and get education.
Planning and Contraceptives Use
Family planning are
introduced especially to women which gives them information on a variety of
methods used to plan or prevent pregnancy based on identifying the woman’s
fertile days. Family planning and information and services shall include as a
first priority making women of reproductive age fully aware of their
reproductive cycles to make them aware of when fertilization is highly probable
as well as highly improbable ( Philippine Commission on Women, 2009).
is the use of various devices, drugs, agents, sexual practices, or surgical
procedures to prevent conception or pregnancy.
Sexual and Reproductive
Figure 1. Conceptual Paradigm