Teenage pregnancy rates in Plymouth almost halved since records began

The number of unplanned teenage pregnancies in Plymouth have almost halved since records began in 1998, and fallen to an all time low according to latest figures published this week

The under 18 conception rate has dropped again for the seventh year in a row, to the lowest rate since the baseline for teenage pregnancies was first set 17 years ago. The rate has fallen from 54.7 per 1,000 population in 1998 to 28.9 per 1,000 in 2013, a drop of 47.2 per cent.

Council and health chiefs tasked with reducing the city’s teenage pregnancy rates put the continued reduction down to better sex education for young people, more convenient and tailored services in the community and higher aspirations of young girls.

Councillor Sue McDonald, Cabinet Member for Children, Young People and Public Health for Plymouth City Council, said: “It is really positive to see a continuing drop in the teenage pregnancy rate. Services are working very hard to ensure that young people can access information, advice and support that helps young people make informed decisions around their sexual health and in doing so reduce unplanned teenage pregnancy.

“It is important that we use early intervention and prevention to make sure young people look after their bodies and health.”

Key local services which aim to prevent teenage pregnancy include

Community Contraception and Sexual Health Service (CCASH)4U+ Service (Plymouth Community Healthcare)

This service provides contraception, accurate information, reversible long acting contraception and emergency hormonal contraception. The service also offers pregnancy testing, chlamydia screening and information about terminations. The aim is to reduce number of under 18 conceptions and reduce risk taking behaviour among young people.

Contact: Cumberland Centre, Devonport, Plymouth, call 01752 434432  for more information

Sexual Health Service (the Zone)

The aim of this service is to reduce rates of sexually transmitted infections, reduce under 18 conception rates, increase chlamydia screening and diagnosis. Contact: 14-16 Union Street, Derry’s Cross, Plymouth, PL1 2SR, 01752 206626.

Prevention (Eddystone Trust)

This service also aims to reduce conceptions and provides the C-Card scheme throughout a wide range of youth services in the city offering free condoms and advice to young people. There is also a Safe Badge Quality Assurance Scheme to ensure youth services work to agreed standards when dealing with young people’s sexual health needs. Contact: 2nd Floor Suite, 11 Whimple Street, Plymouth, PL1 2DH. 01752 254406