Predictors of Timely Initiation of Gynecologic Care Among Urban Adolescent Girls

In the current study, investigators examined sexual health services provided to urban adolescent females. The study also focused on predictors of gynecologic care for sexually active adolescents. Study participants were 819 girls attending public high school in New York. Participants used laptop computers to complete anonymous surveys.

Key Findings:

  • The mean age of participants was 16.4 years and almost 70 percent were Hispanic.
  • Fewer than half of participants (44.7%) stated they were sexually active. The average age of initiation of sexual intercourse was 15.0 years of age.
  • The majority (77%) of participants stated they had a doctor they went to regularly. Just over one-third (34.3%) of participants had not sought out care when they thought they should have done so.
  • Approximately one-quarter (26.4%) of girls who were sexually active disclosed this to their regular doctor. Teen-centered health care locations and knowledge that care would be confidential were significant predictors of disclosing sexual activity to doctors.
  • Less than half (45%) of sexually active girls had had a pelvic exam. On average it took 13.3 months from first sexual intercourse to first pelvic exam.
  • Significant predictors of time to pelvic exam were pregnancy or sexually transmitted infection, disclosing sexual activity to a doctor or nurse, confidential care, and high self-efficacy about confidential care.