Research commissioned by the Dublin Well Woman Centre and carried out by Empathy Research on contraception shows that the majority of women in Ireland are using short acting methods of contraception which are typically less effective than longer acting methods.
The research, conducted in March 2020 among a national sample of over 1,014 women aged 17 - 45, is the most comprehensive research on contraception in ten years.
While almost 9 out of 10 (87%) of those surveyed cited pregnancy prevention as the most important factor when choosing a form of contraception, the majority of women surveyed use shorter acting forms of contraception which are less effective than the longer acting alternatives.
The survey found that contraceptive failure is resulting in pregnancy. 35% of those surveyed said they had sex where the contraception failed, and claimed it resulted in a pregnancy.
The survey findings also show an over-reliance on Emergency Contraception particularly among 17-24 year olds.
In terms of access, almost 1 in 5 (18%) women aged 17-45 claim that they must travel outside of the town/city/village that they live in, in order to access the contraception they are currently using. Those aged 17-24 (53%) are the cohort significantly more likely to claim that the cost of the contraception is important when deciding on which type of contraception to use.
In addition, the research reveals significant misunderstandings and misconceptions by women on contraception and fertility.
Access to free contraception was one of the recommendations made by the Oireachtas Committee on the Eighth Amendment, and the Programme for Government (June 2020) includes a commitment to roll out free access to contraception for all women on a phased basis, starting with those aged 17 to 25 years.
To read more about the results of this research you can access the report here.
Reference: The Contraception Conversation, Dublin Well Woman Centre. Research carried out by Empathy Research. Supported by an educational grant from Bayer. On-line survey conducted between the 10th-23rd March 2020 with 1,014 females aged 17-45 years.
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