Teen pregnancy rates have fallen

PUBLISHED: 14:00 10 March 2015


THE proportion of teenagers falling pregnant in North Somerset has fallen to among the lowest rates in the country.

An NHS report released this week confirmed the prevalence of conception has decreased to 15.8 per 1,000 women aged under-18 across the district, the second-lowest rate across the whole of the South West. The rate has also almost halved in less than three years.

As recently as 2009, North Somerset ranked comfortably inside the top half of local authority areas in England for under-18 pregnancy rates, but has now fallen to the 16th lowest of 146 in England, and well below the average of 24.3 per 1,000 for England as a whole.

North Somerset Council has introduced a targeted programme in schools for what it terms ‘vulnerable groups’ alongside existing health and relationships education in schools, as well as sexual health services for under-25s including free condoms, pregnancy tests, emergency contraception, chlamydia screening and treatment from a number of pharmacies and GP practices across the district.

Ginette Corr, strategic public health manager for the council, said it had been working hard to ensure young people had ‘support and advice’ with regards to sexual health matters.

She said: “We’re very pleased with the progress made in reducing teenage conceptions in North Somerset.

“We’re working hard with partner agencies to improve the quality of relationship and sexual health education in our schools and also to raise awareness about the No Worries! teenage health service.

“We want young people to have support and advice in sexual health matters so they can make informed choices.”

For more information on the No Worries! health service, which offers confidential advice on a range of health and relationship topics, visit www.nscphealth.co.uk/services/no-worries

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