This profile looks at the rate of STI testing and new STI diagnosis and conception rates in North Yorkshire.
It is important that we have a good understanding of local sexual health needs in order to provide the most appropriate services and interventions. In North Yorkshire, the rate of new Sexually Transmitted Infection (STI) diagnoses for 2018 at 449 per 100,000 population is significantly lower than England (850 per 100,000). This excludes chlamydia diagnoses in the under 25’s, as there is a separate active screening programme in place.
The STI testing rate for the same time period shows that North Yorkshire is significantly lower than England. All districts in the county follow the same pattern as North Yorkshire: significantly lower diagnoses of new STIs but also a significantly lower testing rate. There are many factors which can explain a low diagnosis rate; it is not necessarily indicative of a lower prevalence of disease. When accompanied by a low rate of testing, it is important to consider if all of those who need to be tested within the population have services that are accessible and available to them.
LARC is recommended as a cost-effective and effective form of birth control. As part of the priority to make a wide-range of contraceptive services available to all, LARC prescription measurement is used as a proxy measure for access to wider contraceptive services. An increase in access to contraceptive services is thought to lead to a reduction in unintended pregnancies. The prescription rate for LARC in North Yorkshire (72 per 1,000 women aged 15-44) is significantly higher than England (47 per 1,000 women). All districts in the county have prescribing rates that are significantly higher than England; Scarborough has the highest in the county at 87 per 1,000 women aged 15-44.
Unplanned pregnancies at any stage of life can have an impact on women’s health and well-being. There is a great deal of attention paid to the experiences of teenagers who have an unplanned pregnancy, particularly in relation to the wider determinants of health including education, housing and poverty. The teenage conception rate in North Yorkshire (10 per 1,000 women aged 15- 17) is significantly lower than England (18 per 1,000 women aged 15-17), continuing an overall downward trend in teenage conceptions. No district in the county has a statistically higher rate of under-18 conceptions than England.