FSRH statement: quarterly teenage pregnancy figures show increase in four regions
Date: 26 Nov 2019
Type: FSRH Press Releases and Statements
The Office for National Statistics (ONS) quarterly figures on under-18 conception rates for women in England and Wales were published today. Pregnancy rates to women aged 15-17 in England in July-September 2018 have fallen by 3.6% in comparison with July-September 2017. This is a smaller decline than the previous quarter (April-June 2018), when rates had fallen by 8.7%.
The rate of teenage pregnancies for July-September 2018 stands now at 16 per 1,000 females aged 15 to 17, whilst in 2017 it was 16.6 per 1,000.
Some regions have experienced decreases, but four have seen an increase since July-September 2017: North East, North West as well as East and West Midlands.
Dr Asha Kasliwal, President of the Faculty of Sexual and Reproductive Healthcare (FSRH), said:
“Young women are finding it harder and harder to access essential contraceptive services across the country. It is very concerning that regional inequalities are deepening, and some areas are now showing a marked increase in teenage pregnancies.
“Funding for young people-friendly services is essential, but it is not enough. We also need to educate young people about their bodies and their sexual and reproductive health and rights.
“In our upcoming joint election manifesto with the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, we are calling on the Government to guarantee that high-quality, consistent Relationships and Sex Education will be taught in all secondary schools in England. We call on the Department of Education to ensure training for teachers is of a high standard, with enough time stipulated in the curriculum to teach the subject.
“It is vital that young people are taught medically accurate and unbiased information about sexual and reproductive health so they can make informed decisions about their wellbeing.”
For further information and press queries please contact Camila Azevedo, External Affairs & Standards Manager, at firstname.lastname@example.org / 02037945309
Notes to editors:
- The ONS quarterly figures on under-18 conception rates for women in England and Wales can be found here.
- The joint FSRH/RCOG election manifesto presents five calls to action for the next Government to improve the health of the 51%, women. It is due to be launched soon.
- FSRH and RCOG launched a free resource on abortion care to support teachers with Relationships and Sex Education lessons in secondary schools in the UK. The joint FSRH-RCOG factsheet aims to ensure that professionals involved in educating young people about pregnancy choices have a factually accurate, unbiased and evidence-based source of information about abortion care in the UK. It counters myths such as that abortion causes infertility, breast cancer and mental illness. The FSRH-RCOG abortion leaflet is officially endorsed by PHE, Sex Education Forum and PSHE Association.
- FSRH has been calling for increased investment in contraceptive services and fully-funded Public Health services. In this climate of uncertainty, we support the call by The King’s Fund and the Health Foundation for the Government to commit to restoring £1bn of real-terms per head cuts to the public health grant immediately. Analysis by the two organisations can be found here. FSRH has also submitted evidence to the inquiry, by the Health and Social Care Committee, examining the funding required for NHS capital, education and training, social care and public health to implement the NHS Long Term Plan, which can be read here.
- We have also endorsed a consensus statement by more than 80 health and local government organisations calling on the Government to increase investment in Public Health to prevent ill health, reduce health inequalities, and support a sustainable health and social care system. Read it here.
- There are several evidence-based resources to help local areas sustain progress and narrow inequalities, published by Public Health England (PHE) and co-badged with the Local Government Association (LGA). The Teenage Pregnancy Prevention Framework sets out the ten key factors for an effective local programme and includes a self-assessment to collate a summary of the current situation, identify gaps and agree priority actions. The Prevention Framework is a companion document to the Framework for Supporting Teenage Mothers and Young Fathers which promotes a multi-agency approach to a coordinated care pathway for young parents.
- 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.