Morning after pill stats
AROUND 100 underage girls in Halton accessed emergency contraception from sexual health services last year.
New figures from the NHS have revealed that girls under the age of 16 went to sexual and reproductive health services in the area to get the morning after pill fewer than 100 times in 2016-17.
The figures show that one in every 143 girls aged 13 to 15 in Runcorn and Widnes took emergency contraception.
The morning after pill was accessed from services in the area around 400 times by women aged 16 to 54 – with one in every 83 women taking it at some point last year.
Underage girls in nearby St Helens meanwhile are more likely to access emergency contraception from sexual health services than anywhere else in the country.
The NHS figures shows girls under the age of 16 went to sexual and reproductive health services in the area to get the morning after pill around 200 times in 2016-17.
The figures show that one in every 19 girls aged 13 to 15 in St Helens took emergency contraception – the highest rate in the country, and nearly nine times as high as the national average.
Across England, underage girls were given emergency contraception around 5,700 times in the last year, with one girl in every 167 taking it at least once. Only Blackpool saw a similarly high rate of young girls accessing the morning after pill, with one in every 20 in the city doing so.
Meanwhile, older girls and women in St Helens were also the most likely in the country to get emergency contraception from sexual health services. The morning after pill was accessed from services in the area around 1,400 times by women aged 16 to 54 – with one in every 45 women taking it at some point last year.
Nationally, 90,100 were given out to adult women, with again one in every 167 16-54 year olds accessing emergency contraception.
A report from the NHS links the likelihood of underage girls taking emergency contraception to the level of deprivation in the area they live.
St Helens has the 25th highest proportion of the most deprived neighbourhoods in the country – putting it in the top 10% for deprivation out of 326 local authorities.
However, while Knowsley and Liverpool both have even higher levels of deprivation, underage girls in these areas are much less likely to access the morning after pill.
While Liverpool has the fourth highest proportion of the most deprived neighbourhoods in the country and Knowsley has the second highest, both areas saw emergency contraception given to underage girls fewer than 100 times.
One in every 125 13-15 year olds in Knowsley and just one in every 1,000 young girls in Liverpool took the morning after pill last year.
That being said, the figures do not include emergency contraception accessed through GPs and pharmacies, so the figures are likely higher across the whole of Merseyside.