Teen pregnancy jump prompts implant push

Teen pregnancy jump prompts implant push

Births among teenage mothers rebounded last year despite dropping off in recent years, according to a study by the Department of Health.

The number of children born to women aged 15-19 fell to 28 per 1,000 people in that age/gender bracket in 2020, down from 31 the previous year, said Dr Boonrit Sookrat, director of the Bureau of Reproductive Health.

But the number jumped 47% in 2021 year-on-year.

After giving birth, 52% of student mothers opted to stay home and raise their babies last year, the study found.

Nonetheless, a greater percentage managed to juggle both on-site classes and child-rearing (33%) while fewer teenage mums quit their classes.

As part of a broader move to reduce the birthrate among teenagers, Dr Boonrit said the Department of Health has stepped up efforts to promote birth control while the government is advertising highly effective contraceptive implants.

Dr Suwannachai Wattanayingcharoenchai, director-general of the Department of Health, said it has worked with the National Health Security Office to devise a plan against unwanted pregnancies by allowing access to semi-permanent forms of contraception.

Under the plan, women below 20 can receive intrauterine devices and contraceptive implants at at NHSO network health clinics, he said.

"Implants are highly effective and last three to five years. They can also be reversed to facilitate immediate fertilisation," he added.

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