Teenage pregnancy in the United Kingdom: are we doing enough?

Eur J Contracept Reprod Health Care. 2006 Dec;11(4):314-8. doi: 10.1080/13625180600929028.


The teenage pregnancy unit's strategy for dealing with the increasing problem of unwanted pregnancy is rather prescriptive and simplistic for such a complex problem. It is not surprising that despite its recent recommendations, the problem has worsened. It is ludicrous to promote efficient ways to provide oral contraceptive pills to teenagers when good evidence of its inconsistent use among this age group is common knowledge. In addition, increasing access to emergency contraception could undermine teenagers' perception of the importance of commitment in relationships and thus send them a wrong message. This paper reviews the available evidence on the subject and highlights some good practices from other parts of the western world, which have not been incorporated into the UK strategy. It challenges the various stakeholders to show better commitment by providing a more rigorous and effective strategy.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adolescent Health Services / organization & administration*
  • Family Planning Services / methods*
  • Female
  • Health Services Accessibility*
  • Humans
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy in Adolescence* / prevention & control
  • Pregnancy in Adolescence* / psychology
  • Sex Education / methods*
  • United Kingdom