Leap in Under-16s Going to Clinics

More than double the number of girls aged under-16 attend family
planning clinics now than they did 10 years ago, figures on NHS
contraceptive services show.

In 2003, 92,000 under-16s attended NHS family planning clinics
in England compared to just 41,000 in 1993. The percentage of 13-15
year olds attending clinics has also increased – from nearly
5 per cent in 1993-4 to almost 10 per cent in 2003-4.

The peak age for clinic attendance was 16-17, with nearly a
quarter of women in this age group visiting a clinic. About four in
ten 16-19 year olds who use contraception attend clinics, with most
of the others going to their GP for contraceptive services.

The figures show that in 2003-4 half the attendees aged under-16
chose to use the male condom while a third opted for oral
contraception. During the year 27,200 under-16s were given
emergency contraception.

More clinic sessions are now held for young people aged under-20
by NHS family planning clinics and around 416,000 attend them.

• NHS Contraceptive Services from www.publications.doh.

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