Given high levels of unintended fertility and teenage pregnancy in the Philippines, the findings indicate that the interval between sexual initiation and first and subsequent partnerships may be ideal intervention points for reproductive health services for young Filipinos.
The Philippines has achieved significant economic growth and progress towards achieving the Millennium Development Goals, yet persistent challenges remain in addressing the sexual and reproductive health needs of its citizens.
Multivariate Poisson regression models were conducted with longitudinal and inter-generational data from the Cebu Longitudinal Health and Nutrition Survey (1998–2009) to examine the predictors of young women’s fertility.
Age at first sex, and number and duration of partnerships each independently and significantly predicted women’s fertility by 2009 after controlling for contextual influences.
Although the total fertility rate has declined substantially from 6.0 in 1973 to 3.0 in 2013, the fertility, with women desiring, on average, only 2.2 children (Philippines Statistics Authority (PSA) & ICF International, 2014).
Moreover, over a quarter of women report that their most recent birth was unintended: 11% reported the birth as ‘unwanted’ and 17% reported it as ‘mistimed’, i.e.
Young women with more conservative attitudes towards dating, sex and marriage, and who perceived their mothers to have more conservative attitudes, had higher fertility than their peers, as did young women with mothers who reported more adolescent sexual behaviours.
Data were used from the mothers and the female ICs from the 1998 CLHNS survey, when the ICs were approximately 15 years old.
desired at least two years later (PSA & ICF International, 2014).
A large proportion of these unintended pregnancies are attributable to high reliance on traditional, less effective methods or no use of any contraceptive method at all (Darroch, 2009).
The index was created by using a factor analysis on questions regarding the appropriate ages for young people to have crushes, court, date and become married.
Higher index scores correspond to more conservative attitudes.