GPs 'fail women' on contraception

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The Independent Online
Some family doctors are failing their women patients who want comprehensive advice on the contraceptive Pill and other family planning methods, according to a survey.

More than a quarter of women aged 16 to 49 say they are not satisfied with the advice they receive. Of these 40 per cent wanted to know more about possible side-effects, while 24 per cent want more information on risks such as blood clots and their future fertility.

The survey of 744 women by the Contraceptive Education Service is part of a campaign to improve awareness of the 13 methods of contraception.

Almost three-quarters of women aged 16-49 use some form of contraception. The Pill is the most popular, accounting for 25 per cent; sterilisation accounts for 24 per cent, condom 17 per cent, IUD 5 per cent, diaphragm or cap 1 per cent, injection 1 per cent, and natural family planning 1 per cent.

More than half of women who used contraception said that experiencing side-effects or health problems was a key factor in their decision to change methods. Fifty-three per cent of condom users said their partner's dislike of the method meant they stopped using them.

Almost three-quarters said they had already decided on the preferred method before seeing a health professional.

5 Contraceptive Education Service Helpline 0171-636 7866.