Huge Reduction in Teenage Pregnancy; Health Experts Delighted by Latest Figures

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Byline: HELEN RAE

RATES of teenage pregnancy in the North East have been slashed, new figures have shown.

Latest figures have revealed that the number of under-18s who have been pregnant has fallen significantly since a 10-year reduction strategy was put in place in 1998.

Teenage conceptions in North Tyneside has fallen by 38.4% since 1998. Pregnancy rates dropped by 16.1% in 2009 to 2010, falling from 148 to 122.

Data shows that the number of teenage conceptions in Northumberland fell by 19.1% since the reduction strategy began. Rates of teenage pregnancies dropped by 3.2% in 2009 to 2010, from 195 to 181.

The number of under-18s conceptions in Newcastle has decreased by 11.4% since 1998. Rates dropped by 1.5% in 2009 and 2010, from 210 to 197.

Judith Stonebridge, public health specialist in sexual health for NHS North of Tyne, said: "We are really pleased with these results.

"The teenage pregnancy partnership boards are focusing on improving access to effective sex and relationships education, supporting parents to talk to their children about sex and relationships, as well as improving access to effective methods of contraception.

"Evidence suggests that such approaches help young people to make the right choices, delay early sexual activity and increase the use of contraception. "We will also continue to ensure young people know where to get to advice, support and reliable contraception from local sexual health services, GPs and community pharmacies. …