A descriptive study of the university students about their knowledge on
reproductive health and assessment of their needs
A.N.Özaydin Gülersoy, Y.B. Aslan, A.A. Elshair, M. Hashim
Department of Public Health, Marmara University School of Medicine,
Introduction: Turkey’s shape is like a bridge between Asia and
Europe and the population is over 70 million. It has young population; around
50% of the population is under age of 20, 98% of population is Muslim but Turkey
a secularized country. Turkey is a developing country. There are not in routine
established programs about reproductive health in any of the formal education in
Turkey. Besides there are not sufficient reproductive health services for the
young population. On the other hand the university life may give young people
some extra freedom and opportunities. But also creates risks such as unwanted
pregnancies and sexually transmitted infections in the big cities. Marmara
University is located in Istanbul, which is the biggest city of Turkey.
Aims and Methods: This study was carried out in order to determine the
knowledge and needs of university students about RH and RH services in Turkey.
The university students who participated in this study had come from different
cities of Turkey. A descriptive study was applied in April 2003, among the
preparatory school students of the Marmara University in Istanbul. Data were
analyzed in SPSS 11.05.
Results: In this study, data was collected from the 723 students (Female:
47.4%, male: 52.6%). Most of them were single (98.9%). The average age was 20
(minimum: 18, maximum: 22). Merely 27.4 of them had experienced intercourse. The
average age of the first intercourse was 16.5+1.1 for males and 17.9+1.1
for females. Only 26.3% of males and 36.7% of females could know the exact days
carrying the risk for pregnancy. When it was asked about their current
contraceptive method usage, 46.6% of the males and 9.3% of the females reported
that they were using condoms and 18.2% of males and 7.6% of females said that
they were using withdrawal. Even though they have heard about AIDS, only half of
them had used condom in their last intercourse. Almost all of the students
(85.5% of males, 92.1 of females) stated that both men and women should be
responsible from deciding on the intercourse and to use any contraceptive
methods, but only 35% of males and 53.7% of females had decided that with their
spouses in their first intercourse.
Conclusion: It was found that the young students, which have just
finished the high school and just begun the university and newly begun to live
in the biggest cities of Turkey, are under the high risks of unwanted
pregnancies and STI. Education programs about RH at the universities should be
implemented into the formal education and the RH services into the routine
school health activities.