31 March 2014
Better access to contraceptive services will reduce unwanted pregnancies

National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) guidance, published in March 2014, reports that better access to contraceptive services will reduce unwanted pregnancies.


It recommends that all young people in England should be given access to contraception and advice at convenient locations so no-one is denied services because of where they live. Improving contraceptive services will help ensure young people get the support they need and reduce unwanted pregnancies.


The guidance recommends that governors, teachers and youth workers in schools, as well as nurses, doctors and counsellors working in contraceptive services should ensure accurate and up-to-date contraceptive advice, information and support is readily available to all young women and men. Information on the location and hours of local services should be available.


Professor Mike Kelly, Director of the Centre for Public Health at NICE said: “It is really important that sexual health services offering information and advice can be found in places where young people have access to them. Evidence clearly shows that the availability of contraception reduces the rate of unwanted pregnancies".


Anne Weyman, OBE, Chair of the independent committee that developed the guidance and former Chief Executive of the FPA, said: “Most of the young women who become pregnant while still a teenager do not plan to do so. Nearly half of all pregnancies among 15 - 18 year olds end with an abortion".


Penny Barber, guidance developer and Area Director Midlands, Brook said: “It is really important that services that offer information and advice can be found in the most convenient places for young people; this may be at college, through drop in clinics or their GP".


A local government health briefing on contraceptive services is available to help support this guidance: reducing unwanted pregnancies