Tuesday, 16 December 2008

Some facts behind the statistics

There were stories in some of the press about increases in teenage conception rates in 2007. The claim that the rises are a result of failed attempts to reduce teenage conceptions through sex education and easy access to contraception.
The latest data shows that the slight increase is from pregnancies that have led to abortions, not teenage births, which shows these pregnancies were unintended and contraceptive services like Brook are needed even more than ever.
We also know the rise corresponds with tight NHS spending, when community contraceptive clinics were cut - a stark warning as we enter an economic downturn which will likely see a reduction in spending on public services over the coming years.

In December and January every year for the last five years there has been a peak in teenage conceptions. At this time clinics are closed and some young people will find it harder to get to services. It is important to let young people know this peak in conception rates, and to remind young people that if they are choose to have sex this Christmas, they must use contraception.

At the same time they must know when and where services including pharmacies are open over the festive period. It may sound obvious - but as service providers we sometimes forget the little things - my local shop has had a sign in the window telling me when they are closed, and when they are open for at least three weeks. If you run a service, have you done the same?

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