Thursday, 15 February 2007

Contraceptive Awareness Week

It's contraceptive awareness week in the UK. How many people know that? I happened upon it by following up an article in the Guardian somewhat by accident. You’d think they’d try a bit harder at the awareness.

Two surveys have been published to coincide with this event.

Schering Health Care surveyed 1020 women. Some of the figures are fairly staggering - 12% of women aged 26-34 have had an abortion; 20% of these had not been using contraception and 27% had forgotten to take their contraceptive pill. 30% have gone through with an unplanned pregnancy whilst in a long term relationship; 41% of these were not using any form of contraception at the time, and a further 29% had forgotten to take their pill. Well all right, in a long term relationship they possibly weren’t as concerned as they would have been otherwise, but it’s still bad.

Although nowhere like as bad as the Glasgow study which found that approximately 50% of women were using no contraception, the conclusion was similar: that there is a need for better contraceptive education. Schering, who produce long-acting reversible contraceptives, of course are not unbiased.

At the same time, the FPA published a survey to highlight other sex education issues. They surveryed 495 people over 18. Did this include 70 year olds? And what was the weighting “applied to the data to bring it into line with national profiles”?

I have to say I took the quiz and found a couple of the questions tricky so I’m not surprised that some of the results were poor. Again though, the results do highlight the need for better education. That 29% could think that jumping up and down, douching or urinating could prevent pregnancy is unbelievable (with the proviso that I don’t think the question was well phrased).

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