RISING numbers of unplanned pregnancies are occurring among the ‘Tinder generation’ of thirty-somethings, warns Jackie Doyle-Price.
The Thurrock MP and Health Minister said they commonly happened when women leave a stable relationship and start ‘playing the field again.’
These women stop taking the Pill, once the relationship ends, but don’t necessarily use other forms of contraception with new partners.
The health minister referred to the Tinder matchmaking app which allows users to ‘like’ or ‘dislike’ other users by swiping left or right.
She said: ‘The growth area of unplanned pregnancies is not teenagers anymore – it’s the thirty-somethings. We talk about the Tinder generation.
‘What tends to happen, is you have a woman leave one relationship and then play the field again – entering the market again.
‘That’s when the unplanned pregnancies tend to happen. I think there’s an education point there, which is ‘please continue to look after your fertility’.’
Figures last summer showed the abortion rate in England had increased for the first time in six years, fuelled by women in their thirties.
This group accounted for a third of all terminations and three times as many as in teenagers.
There were 67,389 abortions for women of 30 and over in 2017 compared with 55,877 in 2007.
Mrs Doyle-Price, who was speaking at the Women’s Health Conference in Westminster, London, also warned that four in ten pregnancies were unplanned.
Latest figures from the National Survey of Sexual Attitudes and Lifestyles show that 38 per cent of conceptions among the 35 to 44 age group were unplanned or to women ambivalent about pregnancy.
The survey is carried out every ten years by University College London researchers and the last was undertaken in 2010.
Mrs Doyle-Price said a taskforce within the Department of Health was having discussions about making it easier for women to get the contraceptive pill.
Currently women have to obtain it from their GP every six months and usually undergo a blood pressure check.
The minister pointed out how it is much easier for men to obtain Viagra – which has just as many health risks as the Pill. They don’t need a prescription and can buy it over the counter.
She also urged women to be ‘pushy’ and ’empowered’ when seeking medical help generally, not just for contraception.
‘We don’t want women going to seek help to feel diminished.’ She said.
‘We do need to challenge the medical establishment to do better. But equally in their defence, we as women need to be a lot more pushy and empowered when we deal with them. Because we have to realise that it’s a very unequal conversation.’