Explaining trends of premarital childbearing among young women in Uganda

  • Natal Ayiga North West University-Makikeng Campus
Keywords: Premarital pregnancy, premarital sex, Unmarried women, Young motherhood


Young motherhood is associated with persistently high rates of fertility and adverse maternal, neonatal and social outcomes in many sub-Saharan African countries. This study examined the trends and explained the persistence of high incidence of premarital childbearing among sexually active unmarried women in Uganda. Cross-sectional data from the 2001, 2006 and 2011 Uganda Demographic and Health Surveys were used. The study revealed that across the span of the study period the prevalence of premarital childbearing remained high and stable at more than 25% in all the three surveys. Premarital childbearing is significantly predicted by age group 20–24, young age at sexual debut, female headed households, and households headed by the young women themselves, low level of education, rural residence and multiple lifetime sexual partnerships. Increasing and maintaining access to programmes that increase age at sexual debut, level of education and reduce number of lifetime sex partners are recommended.

Author Biography

Natal Ayiga, North West University-Makikeng Campus
Population Research and Training Unit,