UK health experts say young men and women should have easy access to free condoms. They also want them to be able to use the morning-after pill at home.
CONTRACEPTION: It is a controversial subject, but most health agree.
They suggest both male and female contraceptives should be available at schools, youth groups, and colleges.
The new guidance comes from the National Health Service (NHS). They are asking for a relaxation in the current emergency contraception rules.
It would then allow young females to keep the morning-after pill at home.
Reducing unwanted teenage pregnancies across the country is the foremost aim of the plan.
In the event of failure, it would provide emergency contraception for those who are using the contraceptive pill or condoms.
There has been a general fall in under 18 year olds becoming pregnant. But, England continues to be among the highest teen pregnancy ratings throughout Europe.
A former chief executive of the Family Planning Association (FPA) said most teenage pregnancies are not planned for. Thus, around 50% of all 15 to 18 year old pregnancies result in abortion.
The new plans fall in line with the patient group directions (PGD). They allow qualified nurses, school nurses, and pharmacists to dispense free emergency contraceptive pills without a prescription.
The majority of pharmacies charge around £26 for the morning-after tablet. But, the new regulation would allow them to dispense the pill free of charge. The best practice guidance also permits health professionals to provide under 16's with emergency contraception.
In July 2021, the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) announced new rules for purchasing the progesterone-only contraceptive pill (POP).
The pills are being made available from local pharmacies and anyone who needs them will be able to get access to POP without requiring a prescription.
In some urgent or extreme cases, Plan B pills may be given to young women without parental knowledge or consent. The same youngsters should also get access to free confidential pregnancy tests. That would provide them with same-day results.
Further comments came from the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE). They emphasised that providing sexual health services for the young should be 'freely' available. It should get offered in places where they can get easy access to them.
They continued by stating that evidence proves that the availability of contraception by local authorities reduces the rate of unwanted teenage pregnancies.
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