Women still prefer the pill to any other contraceptive – Bournemouth Echo

Posted: October 10, 2019 at 3:45 pm

THE PILL may be the most popular method of contraception in Dorset but more women in the county are turning to longer-lasting contraceptive methods such as the coil, implants and injections, figures reveal.

NHS Digital data shows 3,605 women with a preferred main method of contraception attended a sexual health clinic in Dorset to obtain the method they required in 2018-19.

Of these, 57 per cent chose long-acting reversible contraception, up from 53 per cent the year before.

However, nearly 35 per cent of all women using contraception in Dorset chose the pill, figures reveal, although this was down from 38 per cent one year ago. NHS guidelines say the pill is more than 99 per cent effective at preventing pregnancy if it's taken according to instructions.

But with sexually transmitted-infection rates rising, the British Association for Sexual Health and HIV says people should consider if their contraceptive choices were protecting them from STIs.

And the contraceptive method with the highest rate of success in this direction, condoms, are only being used by seven per cent of women, although this is up one percentage point from six a year ago.

The new stats also reveal that when it comes to contraception, more women are looking at the most modern methods.

Those wanting a more permanent method can get a copper-emitting intrauterine device more commonly known as the coil which can last for up to 10 years, or a hormone-based intrauterine system, for up to five years.

The implant, which is put into the upper arm, lasts three years and is easier to remove than the coil. A contraceptive injection covers a shorter period, lasting eight to 13 weeks.

In Dorset, 22 per cent of women said they were using the coil or intrauterine system as their main method of contraception, while 27 per cent opted for the implant and eight per cent for the injection.

Across England, fewer people are getting contraception from their local sexual health clinic, dropping from 1.87 million in 2014-15 to 1.40 million in 2018-19.

President of the Faculty of Sexual and Reproductive Healthcare, Dr Asha Kasliwal, said the 25 per cent drop shows that women and girls appear to be finding it harder and harder to access essential contraceptive services.

This is evidenced in worsening indicators in womens reproductive health almost half of pregnancies in Britain are unplanned or ambivalent," she said. "Abortion rates for women over 30 have been steadily increasing for the last 10 years.

Across England, 311,000 women requested the pill at sexual and reproductive health services last year, down from 427,000 in 2014-15.

A total of 352,000 women now use long-acting reversible methods, up from 346,000 four years ago.

A spokesman for the Department of Health and Social Care said: We have a strong track record on sexual health with teenage pregnancies at an all-time low. Contraception is the best way to avoid unintended pregnancy and we are pleased to see uptake of long-acting reversible contraceptives has increased.

Prevention is at the heart of the NHS Long Term Plan, and comes alongside the 3 billion we are giving to councils to fund

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Women still prefer the pill to any other contraceptive - Bournemouth Echo

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