The number of girls getting pregnant during their teenage years has fallen almost by half in England.
In 1999, UK government had introduced a scheme called as Teenage Pregnancy Strategy(TPS). The strategy focused on providing high-quality sex and relationships education, youth-friendly contraceptive service and support for young parents. Funds were provided according to teenage pregnancy rates in different regions of the country.
‘The rates of teenage pregnancy have halved since 1999 and sustained efforts on access to education and reliable contraception has been key to this achievement in England.’
A study published in the journal The Lancet
analyzed data from all the local regions including the National Surveys of Sexual Attitudes and Lifestyles (Natsal).
It found that there was a drop in under-18 years conception rates, 65 conceptions per 1,000 girls to 34 conceptions between 1998 and 2013. This was specifically seen in regions receiving highest TPS funding.
Lead researcher Professor Kaye Wellings, from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, said, "England's under-18 conception rate has fallen to its lowest level since the 1970s. What's more, progress has been made towards halting the cycle of inequality that has long been associated with teenage pregnancy."
"Our findings suggest shifts in the educational aspirations of young women and the increasing use of highly effective contraception are both driving the trend towards fewer early conceptions," said Professor Wellings.
"One provides the motivation not to get pregnant, the other the means. As young people globally spend longer in education and settle with a partner later we're now seeing a near universal trend towards fewer early pregnancies."