Teen contraception row: “I had implant so I can have sex” says girl, 13….plus cases for and against

0
459

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”.

Girls, 13, given 'secret' contraceptive implants

“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.”………..

Teeny sex

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.

By Simon Blake

7:45AM GMT 08 Feb 2012

Most young people under the age of 16 are not having sex.
Evidence shows that high quality sex and relationships education, provided by   parents and at school, combined with access to free, confidential sexual   health services helps delay the age young people first have sex and   increases the likelihood they will use contraception when they do.
Evidence also shows access to contraception reduces teenage pregnancy – let’s not   forget that our rates are the lowest they have been for 30 years.
All young people, including those who are under 16, have a right to a confidential   consultation with a health professional independently of their parent or   carer. This right is enshrined in legislation and is supported by the   British Medical Association and the Royal College of Nursing.
Wherever it is delivered, contraceptive advice and treatment must always be provided   by suitably qualified professionals working to strict professional standards   to determine whether a young person has the ability to consent to contraceptive   treatment.At Brook, we know how important it is to trust young people, and for young   people to trust us, in order to work effectively with them to be sure they   are not being coerced into sex and are able to take responsibility for their   sexual choices.
The younger they are, the more likely a young person is to need practical and emotional   support to manage their relationships and make positive choices (sexual and   otherwise), but age is only one indicator of vulnerability.Everyone wants young people to be safe and not to have sex too early or in ways   that will hurt them.It is important and moral that we provide young people with a whole range of   support, information, advice and services that enable them to have healthy   relationships.Simon Blake OBE, is chief executive of Brook, a sexual health advisory   service for young people.

Teenage contraceptive implants: the case against

Contraceptive clinics on school premises are giving under age girls the green light to engage in illegal sexual activity and denying them the protection that the law on the age of consent is intended to give.

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

-The Telegraph

Teenage contraceptive implants: NHS defends tactics

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