A 13-year-old girl who had a contraceptive implant fitted at school without her mother’s knowledge said she wanted the procedure because she “felt like having sex”.
“I think it has really helped me because if I am with my boyfriend and we feel like having sex, I have the peace of mind knowing that I am OK.
“At the time I didn’t want to tell my mum because there are some things you don’t want to talk to your parents about.
“But I am glad I have told her now. I’d rather tell her I’ve had an implant than tell her I was pregnant.
“If I was told I couldn’t have the implant unless I told my mum, I probably would have gone away to think about it and would have eventually got my mum involved.
“But I think there should be the option to have full confidentiality because some children just can’t speak to their parents.
“I do get where my mum is coming from and maybe it shouldn’t be done in school.”
She added that she spent an hour discussing the issues of an implant with a health expert at the school and was told to speak to her mother.
She was fitted with the Nexplanon device at a meeting a week later and told she could book a follow-up appointment if she had any worries.
Her mother said she was proud her daughter has taken responsibility to protect herself.
But she is now demanding an apology from health bosses at the Solent NHS Trust and a review of the service in schools.
She said: “I believe they have neglected my daughter by not making sure she had a follow-up appointment.
“I want an apology. I know I may not be able to stop this surgical procedure being carried out on school grounds altogether.
“But, I at least want changes to be made to ensure every girl that has one is given a compulsory follow-up appointment.”
Health chiefs have defended the scheme, saying letters were sent to parents at all nine participating schools in Southampton when the service was launched.
It was then left to individual schools to inform parents of all future students joining, either by letter or in the school prospectus.
The NHS Southampton and Solent NHS Trust has said the number of teenage pregnancies has dropped since the sexual health service was introduced.
A spokesman added: “We have a responsibility to provide a confidential service that ensures young people have access to professional advice and information as well as contraception, if appropriate.
“Full assessments are undertaken to ensure young people are mature enough to understand their choices and are safe.
“School settings offer an opportunity to engage young people in sexual health and relationship information, as part of their overall health and wellbeing.”
They added that the service is fully compliant with national safeguarding legislation and guidance.
As many as 770 pupils have used the sexual health service since 2009.
Nexplanon is the only contraceptive implant currently used in the UK.
The device is a 4cm thin tube which is placed under the skin of the upper arm.
Once inserted it steadily releases hormone progestogen in to the bloodstream which stops monthly ovulation.
It also helps prevent sperm passing through the womb and makes the lining of the womb thinner so it is unable to support a fertilised egg.
The implant does not need to be replaced for three years and is considered more than 99 per cent reliable in preventing pregnancy.
Simon Blake, chief executive of sexual health advice service Brook, said it was vital for younger people to have access to advice about sex.
He added: “Most young people under the age of 16 are not having sex.
“But we believe it’s vital all young people, particularly those who are younger and may be more vulnerable, have a safe, confidential place to access advice, information, and support around sexual health and relationships.
“In some cases, this may include access to contraceptive implants from an appropriately qualified professional working within strict legal protocols.
“In these circumstances, we would include appropriate discussion and support for the young person in making that decision, during the fitting and in follow up afterwards.
“Young people may also need wider emotional and practical support in managing relationships, particularly where they are more vulnerable either because of their age or other personal circumstances.”………..
Teenage contraceptive implants: case in favour
Girls as young as 13 have been fitted with contraceptive implants at school without their parents knowledge. Here an expert explains why it is important to support teenagers have healthy relationships.
7:45AM GMT 08 Feb 2012
They inevitably lead to boys putting pressure on girls to have sex.
Boys and young men can now tell their girlfriends: “There’s nothing to worry about. You can get the school clinic to give you an implant, so you don’t have to worry about getting pregnant.
“You don’t have to face the embarrassment of going to see your doctor, and it’s all confidential so your mum doesn’t need to know a thing.”
Many girls have later regretted their early sexual experiences, and testified that they would never have embarked on an illegal sexual relationship under the age of 16, had it not been for the confidential provision of contraception on school premises.
Providing contraception to young teenagers results in yet more under age sex and growing numbers of young people carrying emotional baggage into adulthood that will make it more difficult for them to build a truly intimate, trusting and stable marriage later on.
It is no coincidence that the more the government has invested in programmes to make it easier for young people to access contraception, the higher the rates of sexually transmitted infections have risen.
Parents send their children to school to receive a good education, not to be undermined by health workers who give their children contraceptives behind their backs.
If health authorities are really interested in reducing teenage conception rates and improving sexual health, they should be looking for ways of discouraging young people from engaging in sexual activity in the first place.
The last thing they should be doing is fuelling the flames of promiscuity and the sexual health crisis with schemes that treat parents, the law and basic moral principles with contempt.
By Norman Wells
* Norman Wells is director of the Family Education Trust
Girls as young as 13 have been fitted with contraceptive implants at school without their parents knowledge. Here the NHS explains why it has resorted to the tactic.
Working with our commissioners at NHS Southampton City, local authorities and other organisations such as Children and Young People’s Trust and No Limits, we have made great strides in recent years to reduce the rate of teenage pregnancy and the spread of sexually transmitted infections (STI) in Southampton.
Our initiative to go into schools and colleges – which is also part of a national programme – has proven that given the right advice, information and service, our young people are more than capable of making the right decisions regarding their sexual health.
As a provider of local health services, we have a responsibility to run a confidential service that ensures young people have access to professional advice and information as well as contraception and screening, if appropriate.
Full assessments are undertaken to ensure that young people are mature enough to understand their choices and are safe. School settings offer an opportunity to engage young people in sexual health and relationship information, as part of their overall health and wellbeing.
The scheme is not conducted in isolation; it is supported by other initiatives including Sex and Relationship Education and drop-in clinics throughout the city.
We do not promote sex to under 16s but recognise that a minority of younger teenagers are sexually active and that we have a duty to protect them. Solent NHS Trust can give assurance to all parents and carers that the wellbeing of our young people is of the upmost importance. We do not provide any young person with any form of contraception without a full risk assessment, which includes a discussion with trained clinicians about their decision to have sex and the associated risks.
We also encourage all young people talk to someone at home about their relationship. However, the decision is entirely theirs to inform their parents or carers when they have come into contact with our services.
Sally Pastellas, is acting Head of Sexual Health Services at Solent NHS Trust