Feature Article

Essentials of adolescent sexual and reproductive health

André Schultz, S. Rachel Skinner



The general practitioner has an important role in promoting sexual health in adolescents. A proactive approach with high-quality support is essential.

Key Points

  • Sexual activity is prevalent in adolescence.
  • Knowledge of sexually transmitted infections is generally poor among adolescents.
  • Delaying age of first sexual intercourse helps to reduce risk.
  • Helping adolescents to use contraception, and to use contraception correctly, is essential in teenage pregnancy prevention.
  • Adverse outcomes of adolescent birth can be minimised if high-quality support and care are provided.
  • Effective sexual history taking is the cornerstone of a proactive approach to adolescent sexual and reproductive health promotion.