According to figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), teenage pregnancy rates are declining. Did you ever think you'd see the day?
Whilst we're sure there are many underlying factors associated with the drop, the Internet is thought to be making more of a contribution than you might imagine.
The Guardian has reported that the rate of British, as well as American, teenage pregnancies have been declining over the past 20 years, with the accessibility of the internet being a significant influence in educating teens about the importance of safe sex.
In terms of sex and the Internet, there have been plenty of negative stories linking the two, including children watching too much porn and the risks of impressionable youths being groomed online by sexual predators. On the plus side, however, is the availability of credible resources aimed at communicating with young people about sex, which goes some way to compensating for poor or non-existent sex education in schools. As well as the additional info right at their fingertips, teenagers considering or already engaging in sex are able to buy contraception online AND learn about the different options to boot. It's not a case of throwing condoms at teenagers and expecting them to wrap up every time they have two alcopops and get a bit frisky. The Internet is making contraception cool.
The NHS is just one fantastic resource that offers advice about sex, contraception and getting tested for STIs, including a search tool to find your closest sexual health clinic. Including symptoms, causes and imagery, these sites offer a whole new level to sex education in a society where sex between youths is increasing, yet talking about the issues is still taboo. This brilliant NHS video is a 'choose your own adventure' style series in which you can decide whether or not to use a condom during sex, and see the outcome or your actions. Without the condom, 10 minutes of pleasure are followed by worry and an STI. WITH a condom the chap gets better sex, more respect and even round two.
Whilst hormonal contraception such as the pill is free with an NHS prescription, over 18s can also obtain it online from credible sources. Buying the pill online would allow you to order with discretion and receive your treatment the very next day. Condoms are available over the counter and include fun textures, different sizes and tasty flavours. There are even celebrity sponsors (we're thinking JLS a few years ago). All these small factors can be promoted online, and make sex – in particular safe sex - a comfortable, reasonable and exciting topic to discuss.
We shouldn't be blasting our teenagers for having sex. After all, can't you remember your own horny antics at that age? We should be realistic about the fact that, no matter what we say, teenagers are going to be bonking and what we CAN do is prepare them and reduce STIs and teenage pregnancies in the process. The Internet is a super amazing platform, not only for teenagers, but for parents and guardians to use to reiterate the point when that evitable "you're getting older now" talk comes about. Learning about sex has become interactive, as well as buying the contraception itself.
For more information about what different contraceptive pills and contraceptive patches that are available, visit our contraception page. We also offer additional info on each method and have a customer support team at hand.
http://www.nhs.uk/livewell/sexandyoungpeople/Pages/Sex-and-young-people-hub.aspx https://www.wellesley.edu/news/2014/04/node/41168 http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/rel/vsob1/conception-statistics--england-and-wales/2012/sty-conception-rates.html http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/health/news/11431478/Teenage-pregnancy-rates-lowest-since-records-began-official-statistics-show.html http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2015/jun/23/broadband-falling-teenage-pregnancy-rates-research-internet https://www.gov.uk/government/news/under-18-conception-rate-continues-to-fall-in-england