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Monday, 22 September 2014

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Cumbrian teenage pregnancy rates fall

The number of teenagers becoming pregnant in Cumbria has dropped significantly over the last 14 years, according to new statistics.

Rebecca Wagstaff photo
Dr Rebecca Wagstaff

Figures released by the Office for National Statistics show that between 1998 and 2012, each of Cumbria’s six council districts has seen a decline in the number of teenage pregnancies.

Copeland had the highest teenage pregnancy rate in the county with over 37 out of every 1,000 becoming pregnant in 2012, however the figure had dropped from over 50 in 1998.

The lowest pregnancy rates in both 1998 and 2012 were found in South Lakeland with 30 and 17 out of every 1,000 teenagers becoming pregnant.

Other results (per 1,000 teenagers) were:

  • Allerdale: 1998 35.5 2012 23.6;
  • Carlisle: 1998 41.0 2012 25.7;
  • Eden: 1998 37.1 2012 19.3.

Dr Rebecca Wagstaff, Cumbria’s acting director of public health, praised the results.

She said: “This long-term drop in underage conception rates across Cumbria is encouraging.

“Over the last decade there has been an enormous amount of work done in Cumbria. There is no room for complacency though and we need to continue to encourage parents to talk to young people about sex and relationships.”

While many argue that teenage pregnancy does not carry the same stigma as for previous generations, it is associated with a number of negative outcomes, such as lower birth weight and higher infant mortality.

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