A major new sexual health survey has discovered the Pill remains the most popular form of contraception among women.
The study by the Office for National Statistics found 28% of women aged 16–49 used oral contraceptives compared with 24% who relied on male condoms. Overall, three-quarters of those asked said they had used some form of birth control during the 2007/08 year.
Disturbingly, around half of both sexes said that what they knew about HIV/Aids and other sexually transmitted infections did not make them change their sexual behaviour.
A quarter of the women surveyed did not use contraception, with the majority citing not being in a heterosexual relationship as the reason. Three percent said they were trying to conceive.
More than 90% of women were aware of the morning after pill, but fewer than half knew it was effective up to 72 hours after sex. Just over a third knew of the emergency intrauterine device, or coil, which can be used up to five days after.
The survey also found that a higher percentage of men than women in the 20–49 age group reported multiple sexual partners.