How clued up are you about contraception?
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Merck Sharp and Dohme (MSD) has joined forces with the Family Planning Association (FPA) in a campaign to promote and widen women's access to contraception. Their extensive survey of 3,000 women (including 495 students in full-time education) examines contemporary views towards birth control. As startling statistics are churned out by newspapers with alarming regularity, exposing an uphill trend of rising STI rates amongst young adults and an unprecedented explosion of unplanned pregnancies, how are we to judge how aware our generation really is about the myriad of contraceptive choices on offer? The enthusiastically titled Love, Life and LARCs campaign hopes to get women talking and raise awareness of alternatives to halt the steep incline of unplanned pregnancies that has been estimated to flitter around the 50% mark. The campaign follows in the wake of worrying results from MSD’s extensive survey that revealed that 70% of women who had recently used contraception felt that they were not provided with enough information about their options. These findings cohere with other studies that point to an overwhelming tendency to stick to the tried and tested methods of condoms, the pill or using both in conjunction. According to a survey from 2009, 25% used condoms, 25% was on the pill and a mere one per cent used the implant. Worryingly, more people confessed to relying on the withdrawal method than the contraceptive injection. As argued by Dr Tina Peers, Consultant in Contraception and Sexual Health, “there is more choice than ever for women of all ages but research shows that there is a lot of confusion about contraception.”
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