County teen pregnancy rate is down

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The teenage pregnancy rate in Northumberland has dropped by almost a half over recent years.

Figures published by the Office for National Statistics this week confirm the under 18 conception rate has drastically fallen by 49 per cent per cent since 1998 – the year the national teenage pregnancy strategy was established.

The latest teenage pregnancy data, which relates to 2013, shows Northumberland’s under 18 conception rate now stands at 22.9 conceptions per 1,000, significantly lower than the England and Wales average of 25.7.

Public Health England (PHE) has also welcomed new national figures which show the conception rate among under 18 year olds dropped by 12.3 per cent to 24.3 per 1000 in 2013, the lowest since records began. The under 16 conception rate for 2013 is 4.8 per 1,000 females aged 13-15, a 14.3 per cent reduction from 2012.

Dr Helen Mcilveen, clinical manager for sexual health services, part of Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, said: “Reducing teenage pregnancies is a top priority for us and a big part of our work is ensuring young people are aware of the different forms of contraception which are available to them.

“We will continue to work with young people so that they make healthy choices and that they have the right information to delay sexual activity.”