Teenage pregnancy is a serious public health and social problem across many low-and middle-income countries. We conducted a study to investigate the behavioural, familial and social factors associated with teenage pregnancy among girls aged 13–19 years in Lira District, Uganda. Findings from such studies could contribute to developing appropriate interventions to reduce the prevalence of teenage pregnancy.
We analysed primary data from a case-control study of 480 teenage girls (aged 13–19 years) in Lira District, Uganda which was obtained using a face-to-face administered structured questionnaire. The participants were identified through simple random sampling from 32 villages in two counties in Lira District. Analysis was by logistic regression.
We found that among the behavioural factors assessed, multivariable analyses showed that having multiple sexual partners, frequent sex and irregular contraceptive use increased the likelihood of teenage pregnancy. Among familial factors, being married was found to increase the likelihood of teenage pregnancy. Furthermore, peer pressure, sexual abuse and lack of control over sex was also observed to increase the likelihood of teenage pregnancy.
Interventions focusing on: retaining pregnant and married girls at school, information on sexual and reproductive health of teenage girls, improving access to and information about contraceptive use among teenage girls, improving socio-economic status of households, and law enforcement on sexual abuse among girls may contribute to improving adolescent sexual and health services in the low-income settings.