This Fact Sheet was published by the Guttmacher Institute in August 2015. The data are drawn from Woog V et al., Adolescent Women’s Need for and Use of Sexual and Reproductive Health Services in Developing Countries, which draws on national survey data from 70 developing countries to provide an overview of adolescent women’s needs for and use of sexual and reproductive health services.
- Adolescents have a right to health care—including sexual and reproductive health services—and to receive accurate information and confidential services. Yet these rights remain unfulfilled in many developing countries.
- Access to sexual and reproductive health services enables adolescent women to have their first birth at the time they desire, achieve healthy spacing of later births and have the number of children they want; to receive the pregnancy care they need and have healthy babies; and to have healthy sexual lives, free from HIV and other STIs.
- However, many barriers—such as social norms, legal restrictions, inadequate availability of services and negative attitudes from providers—prevent adolescent women from obtaining sexual and reproductive health services.