Evidently, the unplanned/ teen pregnancy problem in the United Kingdom has gotten bad enough that the government plans to do something about it. The Department of Health is investing $20 million into a campaign to get doctors focused on birth control. As it is, a woman can generally walk into her doctor’s office and request a prescription to birth control pills (the Pill, as it were) and have no problem getting it. The problem lies in making sure the pill is taken. Somewhere around 75% of women forget to take the pill on two or more consecutive days in a month. Which is fine if it’s the placebo, not so strong if it is the real pill.
The government’s goal is to educate doctors about other methods of birth control. This way the doctor can give patients a keen understanding of what’s what. ‘Jabs and implants’ are the order of the day. ‘Jabs’ include the every 12-week injection and 'implants' include the tube, the coil, and the intrauterine progesterone device (basically a combination of shield methods and hormone methods). And they’ve given Plan B the OTC go-ahead. While the UK’s rate of teen pregnancy is in decline, they are still tops in Western Europe and lag only the US in developed countries according to the Times Online. Some part of this problem is attributed to women consuming more alcohol these days.
Man, when America has a problem with teen pregnancy, half of us blame the media and the other half blames abstinence-only sex education. No one decides to launch a mini-Manhattan Project to get people thinking about alternate means of protection. And now poor Jamie Lynn Spears has to pay for our dithering. It would be nice if someone, somewhere could go ahead and come up with a one-stop pill that knocks out STDs and prevents pregnancy. Until then, it looks like better judgment, frequent testing, and, groan, condoms are all in order.