FSRH statement: ONS releases quarterly figures (July – September 2019) on teenage pregnancy rates

Posted 4 March 2021

Date: 04 Mar 2021

Type: FSRH Press Releases and Statements

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) has released quarterly figures on under-18 conception rates for women in England and Wales. Compared to Q3 2018, teenage pregnancy rates have fallen by 11.9%.

The rate of teenage pregnancies for July - September 2019 stands at 14.1 per 1,000 women aged 15 to 17, whilst it was 16 per 1,000 in the same period in 2018. Eight regions have seen a reduction in rates since quarter 3 2018 with only the South East showing an increase.

Dr Asha Kasliwal, President of the Faculty of Sexual and Reproductive Healthcare (FSRH), said:

“We welcome the ONS quarterly statistics on under-18 conceptions, which show a decline in teenage pregnancies across England and Wales even when taking into account the possible margin of error caused by the pandemic.”

“In spite of the good quarterly outlook, we cannot afford to be complacent. We are still seeing significant fluctuations in the Local Authority rates. More than half of local authorities have at least one ward with a rate significantly higher than the England average.

“Public Health England and the Local Government Association have released an updated version of their Teenage Pregnancy Prevention Framework with an additional recommendation in the workplace training section to apply the MECC principle of ‘Ask, Assist, Act’ to proactively identify young people’s sexual and reproductive healthcare needs. We fully support the implementation of this framework.

“Strategic leadership and accountability have been key to successfully reducing under-18 conception rates, and they are still required to maintain and build upon the reduction in rates.”


 For further information, please contact Camila Azevedo, FSRH External Affairs Manager, at cazevedo@fsrh.org / 02037945309

Notes to editors

  • Although this conception data is from a pre-COVID period, the pandemic has impacted on the accuracy of the data set, as the following caveat from ONS explains: “In response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, birth registration services in England and Wales were suspended in March 2020. Since June 2020, birth registrations have restarted where it was safe to do so but the 2020 birth registration data the Office for National Statistics (ONS) has access to is currently incomplete. Birth registration delays have impacted access to complete maternities data, which is used to compile conception statistics in England and Wales. For this reason, quarter 3 under-18 conception figures should be treated with caution, as the number of conceptions are uncharacteristically low for the quarter after accounting for the trend of decreases we have seen over time.”
  • The ONS quarterly figures on under-18 conception rates for women in England and Wales Q3 2019 can be found here.
  • The Public Health England and the Local Government Association Teenage Pregnancy Prevention Framework can be found here.
  • 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 BMJ Sexual & Reproductive Health in partnership with the BMJ.