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Many women who take contraceptives in Britain still take risks such as unprotected sex, new research has shown.
The research, which took the form of a survey on contraception, involved 3,000 women and was undertaken by Bayer Healthcare. The results showed that 58% of participants took risks, such as either forgetting to take or use their chosen method of contraception (39%) or choosing not to in order to not spoil the mood. Of the 3,000 women surveyed, over a third admitted to having engaged in unprotected sexual intercourse at least five times. Almost 50% of the women said that remembering to take the pill was difficult.
Despite the results clearly showing that memory has a large affect on whether contraceptives are taken correctly, only 16% of the participants were using methods of contraception such as an IUD, known as long-acting reversible contraceptives (LARC). LARC methods are often recommended by experts as they remove the potential problem of forgetting to take or use a contraceptive. Once a LARC has been fitted or administered, nothing more needs to be done until it is removed or runs out, often after several years.
Oral contraceptives remain the most popular method of contraception chosen by women, though other forms of hormonal contraceptives, such as patches and rings, are also beginning to increase in popularity. Several campaigns have been run across the UK in the hope of raising awareness of the alternatives available in the form of LARC methods, and their usage is increasing, accounting for 26% of primary contraceptive usage in 2010, up from 24% in 2008/09, according to NHS statistics.