A study released this week revealed that a third of Irish women aged 18—45 are not using contraception.  In addition 9% of women currently rely on natural methods, including the rhythm method, withdrawal, and other traditional forms of contraception.

The online study of 681 women carried out by Behaviour & Attitudes on behalf of Bayer Healthcare was undertaken to assess attitudes towards contraception, found that the pill and condoms remain the most popular form of contraception in Ireland. They found that 27% of women were using short acting hormonal contraception like the pill with the same number choosing condoms.

According to Dr Shirley Mc Quade, Medical Director of the Dublin Well Woman Centre, even taking into account women who plan on having a child this year,  one in five women are not using any contraception despite not planning to fall pregnant.  One in six Irish women has used emergency contraception in the last two years, with five per cent using it more than once.   Despite this 34% said that accessing emergency contraception did not prompt them to look at their contraception needs in a long-term way

Mc Quaid said:  “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. These options will guard against pregnancy from between three months and over five years. They cost more up front, but work out cheaper in the long run.”

According to the study for forty-six per cent of women responsibility for contraception is shared jointly with their partner with a further seventy-eight per cent saying they discuss contraception with their partner. The study also found that that for one in ten women hormonal contraception is started within weeks of a new relationship with the number rising to 16% after a month.

For more information about contraception options, you can download a free copy of ‘A Smart Woman’s Guide to Contraception’ here http://www.mycontraception.ie/.