British Pregnancy Advisory Service Warns on Contraception

The British Pregnancy Advisory Service has stated that 25% of women who decided to have an abortion in 2016 were using the most reliable methods of contraception.

Over 14,000 women became pregnant despite using the pill or another form of long-acting contraceptive.

And evidence collected by the British Pregnancy Advice Service also suggested that many women fail to spot their pregnancy in the early stages as they had expected contraception to work.

Oral contraceptive pills remain the most commonly utilised way of protecting against unplanned pregnancy.

But other methods, such as contraceptive injections, implants and intra-uterine devices, are becoming increasingly popular.

The figures highlight the need for medical practitioners to discuss contraception diligently with patients.

Many women seemingly misplaced contraceptive devices intended to ensure that unplanned pregnancies did not occur.

And the British Pregnancy Advice Service stated that in 2015, more than 5% of women having abortions past 20 weeks were using Larcs, compared to around 3% of those having one at less than 19 weeks.

The legal limit for abortions is 24 weeks in England, Wales and Scotland, while women in Northern Ireland are now able to get free abortions in England.

Ann Furedi, chief executive of the British Pregnancy Advice Service, noted that there is still a certain degree of ignorance regarding the role of contraception in preventing pregnancy.

“Our data shows that women cannot control their fertility through contraception alone, even when they are using some of the most effective methods. Family planning is contraception and abortion. Abortion is birth control that women need when their regular method lets them down.”

Of the 60,000 women who had an abortion at British Pregnancy Advice Service clinics last year, more than half were using at least one form of contraception.

And the sexual health charity FPA suggested that this is due to either inappropriate or inconsistent utilisation of contraceptive methods.

The FPA believes that some GPs are failing to deliver a coherent message on contraception.

“In a survey of GPs, we found that one-fifth don’t offer the intrauterine device (IUD), and almost a quarter said they don’t offer the contraceptive implant,” the FPA commented.

GPs told the FPA that this was partly because of a lack of training qualifications and a lack of funding.

But National Institute for Health and Care Excellence guidance suggests that long-acting methods of contraception can reduce unintended pregnancy and be cost-effective for the NHS.

67% of women who practice contraception currently use nonpermanent methods.


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