On The Pulse: Should 13-year-old girls get the pill before seeing a doctor?


We took to the streets of Wimbledon to find out, after an NHS trial sparked fierce debate this week.


By Helen Wright

An NHS trial has sparked debate this week after findings show that selling contraception over the counter without a prescription, to girls aged 13 and over, was successful. 

Some argue that selling the pill over the counter to girls as young as 13 will simply encourage them to have sex before they are ready, and that it will increase STI’s in teenagers. 

But many girls who take the pill at 13 are doing so for medical reasons such as to reduce period pains and acne, rather than for preventing pregnancy. 

The real issue here is whether the pill should be taken without having had a medical check up first. Certain types of pills can be risky to take if you have high blood pressure or suffer from migraines.  

A quick medical check up before being prescribed the pill decreases any risks.   

Girls as young as 13 can already be given a prescription for the pill by a doctor without the knowledge of their parents. 

We took to the streets of Wimbledon to find out…

Should 13-year-old girls be given the contraceptive pill before seeing their GP?







Don’t know



Heidi Handslip 33

I think they are too young to have the sort of responsibility of the pill. I think the age limit should be set higher, maybe 18 or 17, but 13 is just too young; they are children.

I have a 10-year-old daughter and it does concern me to think that in only three years time she could get hold of the pill and have sex. It is worrying


Sophie Cooke 21

If they want the pill at 13 that’s a bit worrying so I think that comes down to school education. If sexual health education was taught better in schools than it may not be a problem in the first place. If you are under 16 it should be by prescription.

I don’t agree with the pill in general, I’ve just heard that it causes problems and that the natural way is better.


Deb Adams 55

I’ve got children myself and it is not good for me, I’m afraid. 13 is very young and you know you don’t feel grown up until you are about 25 anyway, so, no not definitely not at 13. 


Amanda Williams 22

I think it is a little bit dangerous because when you are on the pill you need to go to the doctors for blood pressure tests and so I think they may be a little bit young to be putting hormones in their bodies. I’m fine with them being on the pill if they are sexually active because, lets be honest, it happens. But I don’t know if they should be able to get it without a prescription.


Andrea Greenway 38

Yes I think should be able to get the pill over the counter if they are having sex anyway they may as well not have the babies that they don’t want, and of course people don’t always go on the pill for a sexual reason anyway. 


Jocelyn Senior 51

I actually don’t know. It’s not something to take lightly. It is serious medication and I think it is best to go though a GP. I don’t mind 13 year olds having it I just think they should seek medical advice before taking it.


Laetitia Le Loup 19

I think it’s a good idea, I think all people should be able to take it if they need it. I think all people cannot go to the doctor and it can be difficult for some so I think it’s a good idea that everyone can have access to it.


Ayesha Mahmood, 16

I think they should be allowed to buy it if they want it and, or need it because it’s their choice.  If they want the pill you cannot stop them.


Hamzel Moralde 18

I don’t know, I think it’s their choice to do what they want to do and that’s the end of it, no one should be able to stop them as it’s their choice.


Oliver Sanders 25

I’m a little surprised it’s over the counter and not through doctor’s surgeries but anything combating teenage pregnancies is a good thing. The pill doesn’t encourage sex if people are worried about that. They should be more concerned about pornography which that has a lot more negative consequences for sex. 

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