Revista de Saúde Pública
Print version ISSN 0034-8910
MIRANDA, Angélica Espinosa; MERCON-DE-VARGAS, Paulo Roberto and VIANA, Maria Carmen. Sexual and reproductive health of female inmates in Brazil. Rev. Saúde Pública [online]. 2004, vol.38, n.2, pp. 255-260. ISSN 0034-8910. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0034-89102004000200015.
OBJECTIVE: To describe the sociodemographic profile and health problems of inmates in a women's prison. METHODS: A descriptive study was conducted from March to September 1997 in a women's prison in the state of Espírito Santo, Brazil. All inmates were invited to participate in the study. A total of 121 women aged more than 18 years were interviewed. A structured questionnaire was used to collect data on sociodemographics, clinical and criminal past history. Following the interview, subjects underwent clinical and gynecological examination. RESULTS: Of 121 women included in the study, the mean age was 30.2 years (SD 8.98) and the mean of schooling was 4.8 years (SD 3.50). All participants reported previous sexual activity, the mean age of the first sexual intercourse was 15.2 years (SD 2.55) ranging from 9 to 27 years. Previous STDs were reported by 28%; 12 (9.9%) were pregnant at the time. Teenage pregnancy was often reported. Most women reported no use of either any contraceptive methods or condoms. Tubal ligation was seen in 19.8% and abnormal Pap smear in 26.9%. CONCLUSIONS: Knowledge about health problems inside the prison system can contribute to promoting and increasing social rehabilitation. However, effective results could be seen only with collaboration between public health authorities and the prison system.
Keywords : Women's health; Prisons; Sexuality; Health conditions; Socioeconomic factors.