Clinical case review

Contraception and the age of consent. The role of the GP

Deborah Bateson, Kathleen McNamee




Adolescents may present seeking contraceptive advice without parental consent and GPs must decide if the patient has the capacity to fully understand the advice given.

Article Extract

Case scenario

Josie has just turned 15 years of age and has a 16-year-old boyfriend whom she has been seeing for two months. She has recently been sexually active with him and comes to see you requesting the ‘morning after pill’. Josie had sexual intercourse two days ago and wants to know about her risk of pregnancy and whether she can start taking the oral contraceptive pill at her age. Her last period was 20 days ago and she has a 28-day cycle. She says that neither she nor her boyfriend have had previous sexual experiences. She says her relationship is ‘serious’ but she has not told her mother about it.