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Revista Colombiana de Obstetricia y Ginecología

Print version ISSN 0034-7434


MEJIA-MENDOZA, Martha Leticia et al. Socio-cultural conditions and teenage pregnancy experience in Jalisco, Mexico: a qualitative study. Rev Colomb Obstet Ginecol [online]. 2015, vol.66, n.4, pp.242-252. ISSN 0034-7434.

Objective: To describe the social and cultural conditions and the experience of pregnancy among teenage girls in Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico. Materials and methods: Qualitative research with a "typical" case approach based on the identification, from the pre-natal care list of a healthcare centre in Guadalajara, Jalisco, of pregnant teenage girls living in the urban area who received antenatal care in that centre and who agreed to participate in the study with the consent of their guardians, until July 2014. The analysis was based on the social and cultural variables included in the clinical record, the pre-natal care card, and a questionnaire prepared by the researchers. The work was done with three focus groups and the questions covered: a) the social meaning of pregnancy; b) the experience of pregnancy; and c) pregnancy, family, couple and healthcare services. The social and cultural variables were analysed using the Epi-Info 7, estimating frequencies, percentages, central trend measurements and scatter. The semiotic analysis approach was used for the qualitative interviews. Results: Of the 48 teenagers identified, only 42 met the selection criteria. The mean age was 18 years (range 13 to 19). Only 19 % continued with their education, 59.5 % were housewives, 21.4 % earned their own income, and 78.6 % had not used any form of family planning before the pregnancy. Qualitatively, the pregnancy helped them "mature" and made them "happier". They reported having dropped out from school because of clinical symptoms and changes in their physical appearance. They also reported lack of privacy in the healthcare services, and pointed to online media as the primary source of information regarding the topic of sexuality. Conclusions: Dropping out of school and little access to financial income were evident among the pregnant teenagers in the study, accentuating cycles of little education and poverty. This was compounded by feelings of fear and shame preventing them from coming to healthcare institutions and receiving answers to their questions on sexual and reproductive health.

Keywords : Teenager; pregnancy; social conditions.

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