A Government campaign has been launched aimed at encouraging young people to talk more openly about sex and contraception.
The “Contraception. Worth Talking About” scheme has been unveiled following research among 16 to 24-year-olds which found that a lack of knowledge, along with with poor attitudes and communication, was hindering safe sexual practice.
More than a quarter (26%) of those involved in the study admitted never discussing contraception with their sexual partner while nearly half of younger women were unaware they might not be using a method of contraception appropriate for their age and lifestyle.
The campaign aims to prompt conversations about the range of contraceptives available - through snippets of everyday conversations such as in a shopping centre, or in front of the television.
Gillan Merron, Public Health Minister, said: “There is a method of contraception to suit the lifestyle of everyone, and it’s right to talk about these options.”
The scheme is aimed at cutting the UK’s teen pregnancy rate, which is currently the highest in Europe.
The data showed there were 41.9 conceptions per 1,000 15 to 17-year-olds in 2007 - up from 40.9 the year before.