New contraception campaign backed by NHS West Essex

A NEW campaign will help young people make more informed choices about contraception, look after their sexual health and avoid unwanted pregnancies. The national campaign, which is being supported by NHS West Essex, aims to promote more open and honest d

A NEW campaign will help young people make more informed choices about contraception, look after their sexual health and avoid unwanted pregnancies.

The national campaign, which is being supported by NHS West Essex, aims to promote more open and honest discussions about sex, relationships and contraception among 16 to 24-year-olds and their parents.

Research shows a lack of knowledge, and misinformation, coupled with poor attitudes and communication is currently hindering their safer sexual behaviour.

The first phase of the campaign, Contraception: Worth Talking About, will increase young people's awareness of the different types of contraception and remind them that they won't be protected against sexually transmitted infections unless they use a condom.


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Research and evidence shows better communication and more knowledgeable conversations about sexual health and relationships are crucial to helping young people in particular make informed choices and take care of their health.

The first phase of the campaign aims to specifically prompt conversations about the range of contraceptive options open to teenagers and young adults. The campaign is backed-up by polling released earlier this month, showing:

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* 92 per cent of people cannot name the 15 types of contraception options available to them

* nearly half of younger women (44 per cent of 16 to 24-year-olds) are not aware they might not be using contraception that is the best 'fit' for their age and lifestyle

* one in five feel awkward discussing contraception with friends; and

* more than a quarter (26 per cent) never discuss contraception with their partner and choose to opt for their current contraception without asking about the potential alternative options.

The campaign will:

* give people the facts about sexual health

* encourage people to talk about sex and contraception - research shows that open and honest conversations about sex and relationships can stop young people having sex too early

* raise awareness of the range of contraception that can fit with different people's lifestyles; and

* encourage young people aged between 15 and 24 years to take a chlamydia test as part of the national screening programme.

Director of Public Health with NHS West Essex, Alison Cowie, said: "Sex still seems to be a taboo subject - too many of us are holding back from having the open and honest conversations that young people need to make informed decisions, including about when it's right to have sex.

"There are many different methods of contraception, and it's right to talk about these options.

"This campaign is designed to change attitudes and show young people that having open conversations with their partners, friends, parents and health professionals is a must - it isn't something to be embarrassed about. We're striving for a culture of safer sex and better relationships."

For more information, visit: www.nhs.uk/worthtalkingabout

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