‘Pregnancy in unmarried women due to parent’s marital discord’

June 28th, 2008 - 8:55 pm ICT by IANS  

Thiruvananthapuram, June 28 (IANS) Marital problems between parents is the primary reason for pregnancy among unmarried women and adolescent girls, a study conducted in three state-run medical colleges in Kerala has revealed. Sheelamoni, head of the department of gynecology at the Alappuzha Medical College, analysed 181 cases in three medical college hospitals in Thiruvananthapuram, Kottayam and Kozhikode where unmarried women below 24 years underwent abortions.

“I segregated these 181 cases into two groups. One was categorised as below 19 years, where 91 cases was studied, and another of 90 cases where the girls were aged above 19 years,” the doctor told reporters Saturday.

“About 76 percent cases were from families that had problems between the father and the mother or in other words from problem families,” she said.

The youngest girl in the study was only 13.

“Other reasons included lack of knowledge on sexual and reproductive health, and lack of engaging in productive activities,” said Sheelamoni, who has been awarded a doctorate for the study by the Kerala University.

The study, conducted between october 2004 and July 2006, has found that the majority of these girls hailed from lower and middle class families.

But Sheelamoni said this was not the entire picture as higher income families approach private hospitals, where no such documentation takes place.

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