Helpdesk Research Report: Early marriage and sexual and reproductive health


Although the marriage of adolescent girls has been declining in many regions of the world, significant proportions are still marrying at a young age. Early marriage is most common in sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia and Central America (Bates et al., 2007; Lloyd, 2005). The contextual examples provided throughout this helpdesk report will thus focus on these regions. This report presents findings from a range of studies and literature that address the implications of early marriage on sexual and reproductive health. It focuses on the relationship of age of marriage with: age of onset of sexual activity, timing of first pregnancy and spacing of births, use of contraception and the level of unintended pregnancies, and vulnerability to contracting HIV and other STIs. The report is to be read in conjunction with the prior report on „Child Marriage‟ (10/03/2010).

Unit 4, 765–767 Harrow Road London NW10 5NY, Tel. 44 208 960 4000 Fax.44 208 960 4014.

Huma Haider



Contact Details

Year Of Publication