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There’s More Than Just the Pill

There's More Than Just the Pill

Irish women aren’t under-informed about long-term contraceptive options according to the latest studies…

Nearly 80% of Irish women aged 18-45 are unaware of long-term contraceptive options, according to a survey carried out by Behaviour & Attitudes on behalf of Bayer Healthcare. 27% of Irish women rely on condoms with another 27% using short-acting solutions such as the pill. Recent studies have shown that when women were presented with more information about long term contraceptive options, at least third thirds opt for long-acting contraception over short-term contraception.

Dr Shirley McQuade, Medical Director of the Dublin Well Woman Centre, spoke about the reason women aren’t taking up longer term options with more alacrity, despite the lifestyle benefits of doing so, “There is clearly a need to dispel the myths around long acting reversible contraception. The survey showed that many women are uneasy or are fearful of having an internal long term contraceptive and more clarity is needed around what it entails. The new devices available now are very small and non-invasive and they have been shown to be more effective then short term contraception as women do not need to worry about forgetting a dose.” With research showing that 60% of women on oral contraception don’t take the pill properly – an average of 2.6 pills per cycle are missed – it makes sense that more knowledge about alternatives need to made more easily available.

“There are long-acting options that a significant number of Irish women of every age could consider – like intrauterine contraception, hormonal implants, and injections, all of which are reversible,” Dr McQuade said. At the moment 8% of Irish women have had an injection, 7% have been fitted with hormonal coil and only 6% have opted for the hormonal implant. The high upfront cost is one of the reasons mooted for Irish women’s aversion to these longer options, however in the long room these options, which can last from three months to five years, are cheaper in the long room.

So is it time to think beyond the pill? How informed do you feel about your options?

Jeanne Sutton @jeannedesutun

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