The rate of teenage pregnancies one Rotorua has dropped 50 per cent in 10 years and a doctor says that has allowed some young women to finish their education and become economically independent.
Rotovegas Youth Health clinical leader Dr Tania Pinfold said the number of pregnancies in young women under 20 was "exactly half of what it used to be.''
It was one of the things the service was most proud of, she said.
The data shows births for women aged 15 to 19 was 200 births per year in 2006 and that had dropped to 100, she said.
''We don't know all the reasons behind this.''
But easy access to appropriate free youth health services may be part of the explanation, she said.
''Also the Jadelle subdermal contraceptive rods were funded by Pharmac in 2010. These provide up to five years of very reliable contraception, and suit most women. Use of Jadelle removes the need to remember a daily contraceptive pill, or an injection every three months.''
At Rotovegas Youth Health, more than 1300 young people had chosen Jadelle as their contraceptive since 2010, she said.
Lower pregnancy rates could have a positive impact.
''This makes a big difference in terms of young women finishing their education and training and becoming economically independent and achieving everything that they can.''
But unfortunately rates of sexually transmitted diseases in the city remained high as behaviour around sex had not changed.
''We are always encouraging young people to be safer with your sexual choices and use condoms.
''Also we speak with young people about the importance of not having multiple partners in order to reduce STIs and look after their general well being. ''
Lakes District Health Board maternal, child and youth health portfolio manager Pip King said there could be a number of reasons for the decrease in pregnancies in young people.
''We do know there are better forms of contraception that we offer, and these are free and easy to access,'' King said.
''Our youth health services are excellent at reaching out to teenagers and engaging them in their services and ensuring they have their needs met.''
Meanwhile engagement with young adults was not just about contraception.
''It is about supporting young people, in maximising the young person's developmental potential and health status between the ages of 15 and 24 years helping to establish a strong foundation for ongoing good health.''
The delivery of youth health services was very much in a youth appropriate staff and setting with a positive youth development approach, she said.
This included openness about sexuality and ''young women choosing other options rather than being young mums''.
* Closed over Christmas to new year
* Young people can go to their GP or Lakes Prime Care over this time
* The emergency contraceptive is available free at local pharmacies
- Source Rotovegas Youth Health