Improving the Quality of Reproductive Health Care for Young People

The key to refining the world’s future economic and social well-being is improving young people’s reproductive health care. However young people’s reproductive health needs are often disregarded or viewed through a lens of cultural values that limit care. Health facilities frequently fail to provide young adults with specialized reproductive health information, counseling, and services. Lack of experience in social negotiation, ignorance about their bodies and where to seek care, social stigma, and poor treatment by providers often limit young people’s access to the services they need. Providing young people with reproductive health information, counseling, and services can be both challenging and controversial. But improving providers’ skills and expertise and reducing barriers to care will help young people obtain services that meet their reproductive health needs and bring them into a safe, healthy, and productive adulthood.

Research and program experiences reflect that policymakers and health providers can increase young people’s use of reproductive health services by supporting youth-friendly services within clinics and by removing legal and institutional restrictions on unmarried youth’s access to care. Supplementary efforts need to be made to inform health professionals about young people’s needs; to more fully consider clients’ age, sex, level of education, and other socioeconomic factors; and to provide unbiased care. At the same time, adolescents need to receive more specific information about fertility and contraceptives and how and where to obtain services at clinics and other venues.


Creel, L., & Perry, R. J. (2003). Improving the quality of reproductive health care for young people. Washington, DC: Population Reference Bureau.


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