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Report: Average age of Kenyan women's first sexual encounter revealed

Health
 Four out of ten adolescents are either embarrassed or too shy to start using family planning (Photo: World Vision International)

Women in rural areas are more exposed to early sex than their urban counterparts, according to a report by the International Centre for Reproductive Health Kenya.

While women in urban areas on average have their first sex at 18 years and two months, those in rural settings start at about 17 and one months. This ties with when women in both areas have their first child: Urban women are around 21 years, nine months, and those in rural areas give birth at 20 years, five months.

Urbanites also get married at 22 years, and five months while women in rural areas get married at 22 years.

Urbanite women start contraceptives around 21 years, nine months, while their rural counterparts start at 22 years, seven months.

The survey carried out in 2020 and released on April 21 in Nairobi also reveals that 14 per cent of adolescents aged between 15 and 19 have started childbearing, with five per cent either married or leaving with a man.

Also, four out of ten adolescents are either embarrassed or too shy to start using family planning.

 According to the report, 37 per cent of pregnancies were unintended (Photo: Courtesy)

About 60.8 per cent of married women in Kenya also use contraceptives with a higher usage recorded for sexually active unmarried women.

About 37 per cent of pregnancies were unintended, with 14 out of 100 women who wanted to space their children, yet to adopt any form of contraception.

 Nandi County leads in contraceptive use among married women dislodging Bungoma which took up the first position in 2019 while Nairobi County reported the highest increase in contraceptive uptake.

In Kenya, over the last six years, implants and injectable contraceptives have consistently been in better supply, but 14 per cent of women could not meet their family planning needs, the report said.

Some 56 per cent of women said they were not given comprehensive information when receiving family planning services.

The report further shows that 60 per cent of girls aged between 15 and 19 engage in sex out of curiosity with 40 per cent of them being sexually active.

But only 40 per cent in this age bracket use some form of contraception, while 60 per cent have never used any. But 30 per cent of adolescents said their sex partners used condoms.

About 20 per cent of adolescent girls said they started being pressurized by peers into sex, while 10 per cent was from abusing drugs. 

The research was conducted in 11 counties including; Kilifi, Kitui, Nairobi, Kiambu, Kericho, Siaya, Nyamira, Bungoma, Kakamega, Nandi and West Pokot.

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