For Immediate Release
Contact: Scott Oxarart
775.328.2414 or 775.276.1021
Reno, Nevada, May 10, 2018 - May is Teen Pregnancy Prevention Month, and local health officials remind residents that Washoe County continues efforts to reduce teen pregnancy as well as promote women’s health. According to The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unintended Pregnancy there has been a steep decline in the teen pregnancy rate in the United States since 1991 as well as a 67% decline in the teen birth rate during the same time. Likewise, Nevada has also reported a steep decline in both the teen pregnancy and teen birth rate. From 1991 to 2016, the teen birth rate in Nevada declined by 68% and the teen pregnancy rate from 1998 to 2013 declined 66%. Following the state and national trends, Washoe County has also experienced a decline in the teen birth rate.
The steep decline in the teen pregnancy rate leaves a positive impact on the teens themselves as well as the communities they live in. According to The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unintended Pregnancy, preventing teen pregnancy reduces poverty, improves a teen's lifelong income, increases the graduation rate, improves health and child welfare, supports responsible fatherhood, and reduces other risky behavior. Additionally, in 2015 it is estimated that the state of Nevada saved $29 million due to the falling teen birth rate.
While the teen birth rate continues to decline there are still areas for improvement to ensure the continued decline in both the teen birth and teen pregnancy rate. As of 2015 (latest year for which data is available), Nevada ranks 37 out of 50 states for the teen birth rate and 41 out of 50 states for the teen pregnancy rate. In Nevada, the majority of teen births are to older teens (18-19 year olds). However, the repeat teen birth rate in Nevada remains an area for improvement. It is estimated that 17% of the teen births were to teens who already had a child.
Access to confidential services for sexual and reproductive health for teens also remains a barrier and an area for improvement. Confidentiality concerns are a significant issue to teens with one in five teens aged 15-17 reporting that they would not seek sexual and reproductive health care because of concerns that their parents may find out. In one survey, only 22% of teens aged 15-17 years old with confidentiality concerns had received contraceptive services in the prior year. “The declining teen birth rate demonstrates the importance of community partners working together to provide education and services to our youth,” said Washoe County Commissioner and District Board of Health Chair Kitty Jung. “Efforts should continue to promote even healthier outcomes that are cost effective for our youth and our community,” she added.
The Washoe County Health District offers a variety of family planning services through their Family Planning Clinic and Teen Health Mall. Services include: contraception and contraception counseling, pregnancy testing and referral and sexually transmitted disease testing and counseling. For an appointment or more information, call 775-328-2470 or visit https://www.washoecounty.us/health/programs-and-services/cchs/sexual_health_program/teen-health-mall.php.
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