Sexual Health & Teenage Pregnancy

Did you know?

  • Young people who start having sex earlier are more likely to become teenage parents
  • Having children at a young age can damage young people’s health, education and career prospects. 
  • Young people are more likely to have risky unprotected sex, or sex they regret when they are under the influence of alcohol or other drugs.
  • Boys and girls who have unprotected sex are vulnerable to HIV and AIDS but are more likely to get infections like Chlamydia which can cause infertility if not treated.
  • While young people can be good parents, research shows that children born to teenagers are more likely to live in poverty, have health and behavioural problems and become a teenage parent themselves.

Risk Factors for Teenage Pregnancy:

It is important to work with all young people to address their sexual health needs. Young people benefit from accurate information about relationships, sex and sexual health; opportunities to develop confidence and skills to make informed decisions; and knowing how to access contraception and sexual health services. However, young people have different needs, and some require more support than others.

The characteristics of young people who are at higher risk of becoming a teenage parent and the factors that contribute to that increased risk are now much better understood. Where young people experience multiple risk factors, their likelihood of becoming a teenage parent increases exponentially.

Risk Factors

  • Deprivation
  • Risk-taking behaviour
  • Poor and inconsistent use of contraception
  • Alcohol and substance misuse
  • Previous pregnancy or abortion
  • Poor mental health
  • Involvement in crime


  • Low educational attainment
  • Dislike of/not attending school
  • Leaving school at 16 with no qualifications

Social circumstances

  • Daughter of a teenage mother
  • Living in care
  • Ethnicity
  • Parental aspirations

You can download material and information from the links below:

Criteria for Sexual Risk Taking Support Service - 2011

Guidelines for booking outside agencies to provide SRE

Arrangements for booking outside agencies to provide SRE in education

Pregnancy Disclosure Guidance 2010

Schools Sex & Relationships Education Brochure