Call for health professionals to talk contraception
GPs and nurses are being urged to talk contraception with all their patients in the lead up to World Contraception Day, with a new survey showing more young people are failing to use any form of contraception with a new partner.
Britain's leading independent sexual and reproductive health provider Marie Stopes International urged GPs and nurses to ensure all patients that were considering having sex or were already sexually active, left a consultation with contraception during the lead up to World Contraception Day on the 26th of September.
One in four sexually active under 24 year olds that responded to a World Contraception survey said they had failed to use contraception with a new partner – up from 20% the previous year.
Young British respondents were more likely than their European counterparts to blame alcohol for failing to use adequate protection, with one in five saying they failed to use contraception because they were "drunk and forgot".
Confusion and a lack of information about contraception was apparent with almost half of respondents saying they were not very familiar with or were confused about the different types of contraception.
The theme of World Contraception Day is Taking Responsibility for Contraception – and while most men and women said they were both responsible for using contraception – many were still practicing unsafe sex.
Tracey McNeill Vice President of UK and Europe at Marie Stopes International said the results highlighted the need for GPs and nurses to discuss all the contraception options for young people when they visited for unrelated issues.
"This survey shows that more than half of the respondents had already had sex by their 18th birthday and the government's own data shows 83% are sexually active by the same age. This highlights a need for GPs and nurses to begin the contraception discussion with younger patients and continue the discussion with older patients.
"It is concerning that as many as one in four sexually active young people are putting themselves at risk of unplanned pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections by failing to use contraception with a new partner.
"We encourage GPs and nurses to talk about contraception with all patients, particularly young patients who may be considering engaging in sexual relationships. We would like to see greater discussion about long-acting reversible contraception in particular, which will provide protection against unplanned pregnancy to a growing number of young people who are forgetting to use contraception in the heat of the moment."
"In order for nurses and GPs to talk contraception they need training. This is great and if only a few unintended pregnancies ere prevented that would be good. See www.fsrh.org for up to date information on all methods of contraception and most importantly contraception is cost-effective and for every £ spent there is a saving to the NHS of £11" - Kathy, London