FSRH press statement: investment in SRH services and RSE is essential to challenge local inequalities in teenage pregnancy rates

Posted 31 May 2018

Date: 31 May 2018

Type: FSRH Press Releases and Statements

FSRH welcomes the publication of the Office for National Statistics’ (ONS) under 18 conception rates for women in England and Wales: Q1 2017

Pregnancy rates for women aged 15-17 continue to fall in comparison to Q1 2016 according to data released by the ONS for the first quarter of 2017 in England and Wales. In England, the teenage pregnancy rate fell from 19.8 to 18.5 per 1000 women, a reduction of 6.6%. In Wales, the number of teenage pregnancies remained relatively stable, with a reduction of 1.4% from 21.6 to 21.3 per 1000.

Whilst there have been decreases in all regions, the North East has experienced a small increase and the West Midlands has seen no change. Within regions, decreases vary widely from 12.5% in the East of England to 1.1% in London.

Dr Asha Kasliwal, FSRH President, said:

“The continuing decline in teenage pregnancy rates is very welcome, but much remains to be done to tackle persistent inequalities among and within regions. We cannot let ourselves be convinced by a picture of success at national level when it conceals inequalities among local areas.

We know that young people are still at highest risk of unplanned pregnancies, especially those who come from a disadvantaged background and live in deprived areas, where there might be no easy and full access to SRH services. So, what is needed to tackle these persistent local inequalities?

What is needed is investment in two areas: in SRH services to guarantee full, open access to all methods of contraception as well as investment in education through fully-funded, comprehensive, age-appropriate RSE, guaranteeing that its statutory status translates to high-quality, empowering education that can help young people take responsibility for their sexual and reproductive health in practice.”

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 BMJ Sexual & Reproductive Health in partnership with the BMJ.
  • Office for National Statistics Quarterly Conceptions to Women Aged Under 18, England and Wales Q1 2017 data available here.

For further information please contact:
Camila Azevedo
FSRH External Affairs & Standards Officer
Email: externalaffairsofficer@fsrh.org
Telephone: 02037945309