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Reproductive health profile and circumcision of females in the Hali semi-urban region, Saudi Arabia: A community-based cross-sectional survey

Waleed Abdullah Milaat,a Nahla Khamis Ibrahim,a,b Hussain Mohammed Albara

From the aDepartment of Family and Community Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia; bDepartment of Epidemiology, High Institute of Public Health, Alexandria University, Alexandria, Egypt

How to cite this article:

Milaat WA, Ibrahim NK, Albar HM. Reproductive health profile and circumcision of females in the Hali semi-urban region, Saudi Arabia: A community-based cross-sectional survey. Ann Saudi Med 2018; 38(2): 81-89.

DOI: 10.5144/0256-4947.2018.81


BACKGROUND: Improving the reproductive health of females has be.come the focus of the developmental efforts of many nations.


OBJECTIVES: To identify the reproductive health style of married females, and to determine the prevalence and predictors of circumcision among girls aged ≤ 18 years in Hali semi-urban region. 


DESIGN: A cross-sectional household survey


SETTING: Houses in Hali, Al-Qunfudhah governorate, western Saudi Arabia during 2017. 


SUBJECTS AND METHODS: A multistage systematic cluster random sampling method was used to select participants. A validated questionnaire was used in interviewing the head of the selected houses.


MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Reproductive health profile of women, and circumcision of girls. 


SAMPLE SIZE: 365 households.


RESULTS: Reproductive life starts early in the Hali region as 41.4% of women are married at or before 18 years of age. Consanguinity was recorded in 57.0% of houses. The prevalence of grand multiparity (GMP) was 54.7%; it was significantly associated with current maternal age, age at marriage, low educational levels of both parents and husbands with non-professional jobs. Current use of birth control methods was reported by 28.9% of families, and oral contraceptives (OCs) were the commonest method. Contraceptive use was significantly associated with higher educational levels of both parents and with women having professional work. The prevalence of circumcision was 80.3%. Circumcision was most frequent (59.4%) at age 7 years or less, and almost always done by doctors (91.4%). Hemorrhage (2.9%) and fever (2.3%) were the minimal recorded complications. Girls with higher parental education, enough income, no parental consanguinity, and whose mothers married at an older age had slightly lower rates of circumcision, but the difference was without statistical significance.


CONCLUSION: The pattern of early female marriage, high consanguinity, GMP, low contraceptive use, and a high frequency of circumcision in girls was apparent in Hali. Public health education and legislative policies are needed.


LIMITATIONS: Recall bias may affect the reported frequency of circumcision, and related complications.




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