FSRH comments on the annual Office of National Statistics conceptions statistics which show that teenage pregnancies continue to drop, but conceptions are rising significantly in the over 25s.
FSRH welcomes the publication of the Office for National Statistics’ data for annual conceptions in England and Wales 2015. The data shows that England and Wales made significant progress in reducing teenage pregnancies, with conceptions for women aged under 18 falling by 8% from 22,653 in 2014 to 20,351 in 2015. This is the lowest rate since comparable statistics were first recorded in 1969. This continuing fall in teenage pregnancies also suggests that the efforts to target under 18s in the national Teenage Pregnancy Strategy and the Sexual Health Framework made a real difference to the lives of young women.
As a the leading professional membership body working to ensure that doctors and nurses can deliver safe and effective contraceptive choices to women, we are however concerned that neither of these two factors are in place for women over 18 and there is decreasing interest among policy makers to take a national approach to contraception provision. Indeed, these same statistic show that in women over the age of 25, conceptions are increasing, and in some age ranges have doubled since 1990, while increases in abortion in the over 25s during this time suggests that these increases are not all ‘wanted’ pregnancies.
Commenting on the data, FSRH Chief Executive, Jane Hatfield said:
‘The continuing and significant downward trend for under 18s conceptions suggests the national Teenage Pregnancy Strategy, alongside clearly monitored national outcomes for under 18s conceptions, have had the desired impact of reducing teenage pregnancy. However, there is no comparable strategy or outcomes framework for women over 18.
Given that conceptions and abortions are on the rise for women over the age of 25, FSRH calls upon the Department of Health and Public Health England to introduce a strategy alongside appropriate indicators to enable an improved uptake in contraceptive care in women of all ages, alongside more timely statistics to measure outcomes.’
Faculty of Sexual and Reproductive Healthcare, 27 Sussex Place, London NW1 4RG. Charity No. 1019969.
Notes to editors:
- The Faculty of Sexual and Reproductive Healthcare (FSRH) is the largest UK professional membership organisation working at the heart of sexual and reproductive health (SRH), supporting healthcare professionals to deliver high quality care. It works with its 15,000 members, to shape sexual reproductive health for all. It produces evidence-based clinical guidance, standards, training, qualifications and research into SRH. It also delivers conferences and publishes The Journal of Family Planning and Reproductive Health Care. For more information please visit: www.fsrh.org
- ONS (March 2017) annual conceptions in England & Wales 2015 Stats
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