GP calls on teenage girls to choose longer lasting contraception
A Sheffield GP is urging teenagers who are sexually active to opt for long-lasting contraception to prevent unwanted pregnancy.
Dr Helen Story, who is based at Park Health Centre, Park Hill, believes young girls might be better having a contraceptive implant or injection rather than the Pill.
She explained: “For young women, who are very fertile, long lasting contraception is the best option to protect against unwanted pregnancy.
“These are very reliable forms of contraception but particularly so for young women who may be more hectic in their lives as it takes away the need to remember to take a pill.”
Traditionally, the most deprived parts of Sheffield have seen some of the highest rates of teenage pregnancies in the UK.
But as part of the drive to discourage early motherhood, services have been developed in the city to help teenagers to access information and advice.
Government statistics released last year show the approach appears to be working, as the number of teenage pregnancies in Sheffield fell from 473 in 2007 to 432 in 2008.
Dr Story said: “Offering sexually active teenagers access to contraception is not about encouraging promiscuity, it is about giving them the information they need to stay safe and to avoid an unwanted pregnancy.
“We want teenagers to be more aware of their options and to feel comfortable when accessing services.”
Sheffield GP Helen Story talks about the benefits of teenage girls opting for longer lasting contraception.
There are several different forms of long-lasting contraception, such as an implant which is placed under the skin in the upper arm and releases hormones slowly into the blood. Lasting for three years, it can very easily be removed if the young woman wants to get pregnant.
Other options are to have a coil fitted, which can stay in place for five to eight years, or to have a contraceptive injection which lasts for three months – requiring a visit to the doctor four times a year.
Those using long-lasting contraception are advised to used them in conjunction with a condom.
Park Health Centre is one of several health centres across the city awarded teenager friendly status by Sheffield’s HIV and Sexual Health Service.
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