Repeat teen pregnancies in Britain call for prompt steps

January 28th, 2009 - 3:51 pm ICT by IANS  

London, Jan 28 (IANS) Health service officials, alarmed by the rising incidence of repeat teen pregnancies in Britain, are calling for prompt steps to improve contraceptive use. Britain has the highest rate of teenage pregnancies in western Europe. Using national abortion figures for England and Wales from 1991 to 2007, Nottingham University researchers found that the number of women under 20 seeking repeat abortions has risen steadily over the last 15 years.

Jacqueline Collier, professor at the Nottingham School of Nursing, who conducted the study, said that “current routine contraceptive advice and services are failing to prevent repeat pregnancies” among teenagers… “and it may be necessary to develop targeted services to support and guide teenagers after a first abortion.”

That the vast majority of births to teenage mothers are registered outside marriage created difficulties when trying to identify the proportion of teenage mothers who are having children subsequent to their first.

However, researchers used information regarding previous births and previous abortions collected from teenagers presenting for termination of pregnancy, said a Nottingham release.

National abortion figures represent one of the few ways of investigating whether more and more young women are becoming pregnant repeatedly before the age of 20.

The research was published in Contraception.

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