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Talking about sex and pregnancy

Teenwirral provides information to young people about relationships, sexual health and related services in Wirral. This information has been provided by a number of sources.

Sexual health advice for under 16s

The Fraser Guidelines

In 1985, Lord Fraser said that health professionals can give contraceptive advice or treatment to a person under 16 without parental consent, providing the worker is satisfied that:

  • the young person is mature enough to understand the advice and implications of the treatment provided
  • the young person is likely to begin or continue to have unprotected sex with or without contraceptive treatment
  • the professional had tried to persuade the young person to inform their parents, or allow the professional to inform them
  • the young person's health is likely to suffer unless he or she receives contraceptive advice or treatment
  • the young person’s best interests require the professional to give treatment or advice

Confidentiality

Health professionals will always encourage sexually active young people to talk to their parents/carers about their situation, although the guidelines mean that young people have the same rights as adults when it comes to confidentiality.

However, no one has the right to absolute confidentiality. If a professional believes there is a risk to the health, safety or welfare of a young person and that the risk is serious enough to override the young person’s right to privacy then the professional must follow Wirral child protection procedures.

Please see the FPA's guidance on consent and confidentiality for under 16s if you would like any further explanation.

You may also wish to check out the 'Talking about sex and pregnancy' pages on this site.

Further support for parents:

Family Lives: www.familylives.org.uk

Information and confidential advice is available at Family Lives. There's also a free textphone service on 0800 783 6783 for people with speech or hearing impairments.

Wirral Brook Parents: parents@wirralbrook.org.uk

Wirral Brook has a dedicated parents’ email address where you can ask questions about Brook services and get advice and information about young people and sexual health answered by the Brook team.

Wirral Chlamydia Service: www.eazeescreen.co.uk

Chlamydia is an easily caught and easily treated sexually transmitted infection, most common in young people. The site provides information and advice on getting tested.

Talking about sex and pregnancy

Young people who can talk about sex with their parents tend to delay having sex and are more likely to use contraception when they do. However, you may find the idea slightly awkward, or you may not know where to start.

You may want to talk to your teenager about a number of things to do with sex and pregnancy. These might include waiting to have sex, contraception, sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and the effects of having a child while they are still at school.

There are many ways you can help:

  • find out what education they are getting in school about sex and relationships
  • provide them with information and advice on the subjects not covered at school
  • offer to go with your teenager to the doctor or sexual health clinic to discuss any issues about contraception
  • make sure they know about STIs, and know how to stay safe
  • support your teenager as they deal with the emotions of a first intimate relationship
  • talk about the importance of considering the feelings of others in relationships, and not just the biology

You may find that your teenager does not have the same values as you when it comes to sex. Try not to let this bother you - it's just a normal part of them growing up.