7th July, 2017

The British Pregnancy Advisory Service (bpas) has today released data that shows 51% of women who had an abortion at their clinics in 2016 reported using a method of contraception when they presented for treatment.

Natika Halil, FPA's Chief Executive, said:

“No method of contraception is 100% effective, so there will always be a need for abortion care as an essential part of reproductive healthcare.

“There are many myths and misconceptions around contraception and emergency contraception, and it’s important that everyone has high-quality information about, and access to, all methods available so that they can make an informed choice about which one is right for them, and be clear how effective each method is.

“Aside from sterilisation, there are 13 different methods of contraception available in the UK. The most effective methods are the IUD (copper coil), IUS (hormonal coil) and the implant. They’re all more than 99% effective meaning fewer than 1 in 100 people using these methods will get pregnant in a year. However these methods can often be harder to access than methods such as the pill and injection. Many general practices are unable to offer them, due to lack of training and funding. A survey by FPA last year found that only 2% of GPs questioned offer the full range of contraceptive methods.

“Although the injection, pill, patch and vaginal ring can be more than 99% effective if used perfectly every time, they can be forgotten or used incorrectly. The way they are typically used means that around 6 in 100 injection users and around nine in 100 people using the pill, patch or vaginal ring will get pregnant each year, but women may not always be aware of this.

“If you forget your contraception or think it might have failed it’s important to know how to access emergency contraception and that it’s available for free from GP surgeries, contraception and sexual health clinics.

“If women are concerned or worried about the effectiveness of their contraception they can visit FPA’s website or talk to a health professional to find out more about the different methods.

“If you’re using contraception but think you might be pregnant, you should see a healthcare professional as soon as possible.”