Sexual Health Friday September 19, 2014

Is Abortion The New Contraception?

Since working at HealthExpress, I’ve probably become a little more knowledgeable about the consequences of unprotected sex than the average person. Still, I find it hard to understand why fully-grown adults carry on taking chances with their sexual health. If there’s even a small chance of an STI or an unwanted pregnancy, is it worth the risk?

The shocking figures

The latest figures for abortion in the UK indicate that abortion may be the new contraception. The stats make for uncomfortable reading. The number of terminations has increased by 2.1% over the last 10 years. What’s more, 37% of these women were on at least their second abortion, and one in seven were in a relationship, so presumably having regular sex. And guess which public body is picking up the bill? The NHS of course.

Forgetting the STI risk

Worryingly, those who do not use contraception also seem to have forgotten the potential STI risk of having unprotected sex. Let’s not forget that responsibility cannot solely be on women because their partners should also play a part in practicing safe sex. Though sexually transmitted infections can often be easily treated, some cannot be cured, and nobody wants to live with constant sexual infection breakouts. Thirty minutes of sexual enjoyment never outweighs weeks or months of worry, repeated visits to your local sexual health clinic and possible lifelong symptoms.

It’s a double risk

When you weigh up the potential consequences, why would anyone still leave things to chance, even if they only take the risk on two or three occasions a year? Yes, there are some women who experience negative side effects to particular contraceptives, but should that be a reason to ditch safe sex? Should the partners play a more pivotal role in using barrier contraceptives? For those females who react badly to hormonal contraception, it would surely be better to experiment with different forms of contraception and seek further information from qualified health professionals. There is a lot of help out there.

The FPA have shed some light

As part of Sexual Health Week 2014, the FPA released a survey detailing the reasons why many women don’t use emergency contraceptives (EC) following unprotected sex. The main factors turned out to be: embarrassment about asking a health professional for EC due to social stigmas, and not knowing enough about the different options available to them. It was those aged 16-24 who felt the highest level of embarrassment.

My final thoughts

In my opinion, anyone involved in sexual health wants everyone, especially young people, to feel able to discuss sexual matters and not feel shame about seeking treatment for sexual health issues. In time, this will lead to fewer stigmas around contraception, and crucially, more couples will feel comfortable requesting information and treatment to suit their needs. There are many different ways you can obtain contraception: by visiting your GP to get a prescription, visiting an STI clinic or ordering from a reputable online clinic.

Latest Stories

Get your daily dose of inspiration from our Best of healthexpress blog , where we showcase some of the most stunning stories and information.

Sexual Health

The Future Of Sexual Health: Les...

What does the sexual health future hold if antibiotics become ineffective? Despite huge leaps in healthcare technology over the past few years,...

Sexual Health

New 3-Minute Test Could Enable S...

A new computer program, that can analyse bacterial DNA, may speed up the diagnosis of drug-resistant infections and help better target antibiotics....

Sexual Health

Government Cuts Could Lead To A ...

'An explosion in sexually transmitted diseases such as syphilis and antibiotic resistant gonorrhoea' is approaching. No, this isn't a news...

Sexual Health

What Can Quitting Alcohol Do For...

Dry January - woo! I won't get drenched on the school run. Oh, it actually means giving up alcohol? Oh dear. Not quite the same thing. So why...

 What Does Antibiotic Resistance Mean For Sexual Health?
Sexual Health

What Does Antibiotic Resistance...

Antibiotic resistance is not a warning of a far-flung future apocalyptic doom, it's happening right now. And yes, we should be worried. The golden...

Sexual Health

Not Enjoying Sex? Here's What Yo...

Want a sex life hotter than the fire of a thousand suns? Read on! It's Sexual Health Week at the moment, and the theme of this year's campaign...

Load More Stories
comments powered by Disqus