The number of people using NHS community contraception clinics rose by 7% to 1.3 million in the year to March 2009, says a report out today from The NHS Information Centre.
The biggest percentage rise was among men with 13%, or 17,000, more attending in 2008/09 compared to the previous year, bringing the total to 140,000 – approximately one in 10 of all those attending.
Among women, the number of those attending increased by 6%, or 67,000, to 1.2 million.
However, in spite of the rise since last year, the overall number of people attending has remained broadly stable over the last 10 years. The number of attendances remained at 2.5 million – a figure which has also been stable over the past decade.
The report, NHS Contraceptive Services, England 2008/09, also showed:
Among women who attended NHS community contraceptive clinics, the 16-19-year-old age group had the highest number of attendances per 100 of the population. An estimated 21% of women in this age group visited a clinic during the year while the equivalent proportion for those aged 15 and under was 8%. In 2007/08, the respective proportions for these age groups were 20% and 8%.
Oral contraception was the primary contraceptive method of 44% of women who attended NHS community contraceptive clinics, and it remains the most common primary method. This percentage has remained stable since 2003/04.
Use of long acting reversible contraceptives (LARCs) continues to increase and now accounts for 24% of primary methods of contraception among women who attended NHS community contraceptive clinics. This was 23% in 2007/08 and 18% in 2003/04.
NHS Information Centre Chief Executive, Tim Straughan, said: “The report reveals the profile of the patients using NHS community contraceptive clinics as well as the growing use of long acting reversible contraceptives.”