The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on adolescents’ sexual and reproductive health in Mexico

Mitzi Ramirez, National Population Council (CONAPO)
Gabriela Mejia-Pailles, National Population Council (CONAPO)
Maricruz Muradás Troitiño, National Population Council

Adolescents (15-19 years) are a priority group for attention in terms of their sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR). However, the COVID-19 pandemic is having enormous consequences on the lives of adolescents around the world. In Mexico, despite the downward trend in fertility since the introduction of contraception methods in the 1970s, adolescent fertility rate (AFR) has been stagnant during the past decades. Contraception prevalence among adolescents has remained low compared with older age groups of women. The main objective of this paper is to estimate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on a series of indicators of sexual and reproductive health among adolescents in Mexico. Applying the adding-it-up methodology to data from the Mexican Surveys on Demographic Dynamics 2014 and 2018, we estimated the increase in unmet need for contraception among adolescents, as well as their additional number of unintended pregnancies and births due to the pandemic. Preliminary findings indicate that unmet for contraception among adolescents in Mexico increased by nearly 40%, this implies nearly 2 in 5 adolescents with unmet need in 2020 due to the pandemic. Moreover, AFR could increase by 5.3% due to the pandemic, from 67.7 to 71.5 births per 1000 adolescents.

Keywords: Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights, COVID-19, Family planning and contraception, Children and youth

See extended abstract.

  Presented in Session 120. COVID-19 and Sexual and Reproductive Health