Teen pregnancy rates continue to fall across Westcountry

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pregnancyXTeenage pregnancy rates are falling across the Westcountry according to official figures
The number of girls becoming pregnant under the age of 18 has fallen across the Westcountry, the latest figures have revealed.

According to the Office for the National Statistics (ONS), Cornwall, Plymouth, Torbay, Dorset and Somerset have all witnessed a decrease in the numbers of conceptions among teenagers.

In Devon, the number has gone up slightly, although the long term trend remains that of decline.

Louise Sweeney, teenage pregnancy and sexual health co-ordinator in Cornwall, welcomed the news, which she said was due to schemes like C-Card, which offers young people free condoms.

“It’s fantastic that Cornwall continues to see a decline in its rates of teenage pregnancy,” she said.

“Good partnership work and continued commitment to providing a range of contraceptive and sexual health services to young people have been effective in supporting young people to make healthy choices.

“However some areas in Cornwall have much higher than average rates of teenage conceptions, and it is vital that young people are able to access schemes like the C-Card, good quality relationships and sex education, support from well-trained professionals and young people-friendly contraceptive and sexual health services.”

According to the most recent bulletin from the ONS, the three months between March and June last year, saw a fall from 281 pregnancies among girls under 18 to 238.

In Cornwall the fall was from 66 to 42 and in Plymouth the fall in under 18 pregnancy rates was from 37 to 26.

In Torbay, Dorset and Somerset, the rates of under 18 conceptions fell from 20 to 19, 39 to 32 and 49 to 43 respectively.

Only Devon saw an increase in teenage pregnancies from 70 to 76 in the quarter. However, the previous year teenage pregnancies had reduced from 95 to 76.

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