Intended for healthcare professionals


Sexual health of teenagers in England and Wales: analysis of national data

BMJ 1999; 318 doi: (Published 15 May 1999) Cite this as: BMJ 1999;318:1321
  1. Angus Nicoll, consultant epidemiologist (,
  2. Mike Catchpole, consultant epidemiologista,
  3. Susan Cliffe, senior scientista,
  4. Gwenda Hughes, principal scientista,
  5. Ian Simms, senior scientista,
  6. Daniel Thomas, principal scientistb
  1. aHIV and Sexually Transmitted Disease Division, Public Health Laboratory Service Communicable Disease Surveillance Centre, London NW9 5EQ
  2. bPublic Health Laboratory Service Communicable Disease Surveillance Centre Welsh Unit, Abton House, Cardiff CF4 3QX
  1. Correspondence to: Dr Nicoll
  • Accepted 30 October 1998

Sexual health is an essential component of general health and includes the avoidance of unintended pregnancies and sexually transmitted infections. Unintended pregnancies are associated with increased risk of poor social, economic, and health outcomes for mother and child,1 and important sequelae of sexually transmitted infections include pelvic inflammatory disease and infertility, cervical cancer, and increased susceptibility to HIV infection. For some of these factors teenagers are at greater risk than older women. 1 2

Subjects, methods, and results

We reviewed all national routine data pertaining to sexual ill health among teenagers in England and Wales; birth and termination statistics from the Office for National Statistics; and reports from sexually transmitted disease clinics.3 We analysed data for 1996 and made comparisons with 1995.

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Sexual health indices among teenagers in England and Wales, 1995-6

In 1996 there were 86 174 conceptions in females under age 20 years, of which 30 296 were terminated …

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