Nav: Home

Study of youth attending mental health service finds low rates of contraception and high rates of unplanned pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections

October 21, 2016

New research published at this year's International Early Psychosis Association (IEPA) meeting in Milan, Italy (20-22 October) shows that young people attending mental health services have unmet sexual health needs, as shown by low rates of contraception and high rates of unplanned pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections (STIs). The study is by Dr Brian O'Donoghue, Orygen, The National Centre of Excellence in Youth Mental Health and University of Melbourne, Melbourne, VIC, Australia, and colleagues.

Adolescence is a period of increased risk for both mental health disorders and high-risk sexual behaviour. However, there is a lack of research on the interaction between these two issues. In this study, the authors aimed to identify the prevalence of high-risk sexual behaviours, their consequences, and also sexual dysfunction in a cohort attending the Orygen National Centre of Excellence in Youth Mental Health, Melbourne.

The participants were young people aged 15-24 attending the clinic for treatment for psychosis, personality disorders, or mood disorders. The analysis included a sexual health questionnaire, a sexual functioning questionnaire, and a tool called the Brief Psychiatric Rating Scale (BPRS). The study included 103 young people with a range of mental health disorders. Of the participants, 54% identified as heterosexual, 32% as bisexual or pansexual and 5% as homosexual.

The analysis showed that 78% had a history of sexual intercourse and the mean age of sexual debut was 16 years. Alarmingly, less than half of those who were sexually active were using contraception; one quarter (24%) of those who had been tested for an STI received a result positive for an STI, and a quarter had also been pregnant (either themselves or their partners), with 95% of those pregnancies unplanned. Nearly two thirds had used alcohol during sex and 43% had used cannabis. A total of 39% of young people affected by mental health disorders had clinically relevant sexual dysfunction and this was associated with more negative emotions and experiences around sex.

The authors conclude: "These results indicate that young people with mental health disorders also have high needs in regards to their sexual health, which could be addressed by incorporating sexual health clinics into early intervention services."

Specialists at the Orygen clinic have developed a screening instrument to aid analysis of sexual health of new patients which they hope to implement shortly. The centre is also seeking funding for a full time sexual health nurse to be based at the clinic.
-end-


International Early Psychosis Association

Related Contraception Articles:

Study: Access to long-lasting contraception after childbirth lags behind demand
Before leaving the hospital after childbirth, more women are opting to check one thing off their list: birth control.
Hormonal contraception is safer than expected for women with diabetes
Strokes and heart attacks are rare for women with diabetes who use hormonal contraception, with the safest options being intrauterine devices (IUDs) and under-the-skin implants, new research published in 'Diabetes Care' shows.
Contraception influences sexual desire in committed relationships
How often women in heterosexual couples desire sex depends on how committed the relationship is and what type of birth control the woman uses.
Does hormonal contraception alleviate premenstrual symptoms?
The results of a new study designed to compare the severity and timing of perimenstrual symptoms among women who do or do not use cyclic hormonal contraception are reported in Journal of Women's Health.
Fear of gaining weight may influence contraception choices
Concerns about weight gain may be driving contraception choices, according to Penn State College of Medicine researchers.
Groundbreaking study: Self-injection of contraception is feasible, acceptable in Uganda
Self-injection of the contraceptive Sayana Press is both feasible and highly acceptable among women participating in the first such research study conducted in sub-Saharan Africa, according to results published online by the journal Contraception.
Study of youth attending mental health service finds low rates of contraception and high rates of unplanned pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections
New research published at this year's International Early Psychosis Association meeting in Milan, Italy, (Oct.
Milestone reached on path to new form of male contraception
Researchers developing a new form of male contraception have isolated an enzyme they hope will allow them to stop sperm from swimming to the egg.
Condom use among high school girls using long-acting contraception
High school girls who used intrauterine devices and implants for long-acting reversible contraception were less likely to also use condoms compared with girls who used oral contraceptives, according to an article published online by JAMA Pediatrics.
Are women with epilepsy using effective contraception?
In the largest study of contraceptive practices of women with epilepsy, 30 percent did not use highly effective contraception despite being at higher risk of having children with fetal malformations due to the anti-epilepsy medications they take.

Related Contraception Reading:

Best Science Podcasts 2019

We have hand picked the best science podcasts for 2019. Sit back and enjoy new science podcasts updated daily from your favorite science news services and scientists.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Setbacks
Failure can feel lonely and final. But can we learn from failure, even reframe it, to feel more like a temporary setback? This hour, TED speakers on changing a crushing defeat into a stepping stone. Guests include entrepreneur Leticia Gasca, psychology professor Alison Ledgerwood, astronomer Phil Plait, former professional athlete Charly Haversat, and UPS training manager Jon Bowers.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#524 The Human Network
What does a network of humans look like and how does it work? How does information spread? How do decisions and opinions spread? What gets distorted as it moves through the network and why? This week we dig into the ins and outs of human networks with Matthew Jackson, Professor of Economics at Stanford University and author of the book "The Human Network: How Your Social Position Determines Your Power, Beliefs, and Behaviours".