Women advised to have injection over the Pill

GPs to urge women to choose injection over the Pill to cut unwanted pregnancies

Women will be urged to choose contraceptive injections and implants instead of the Pill today, in a drive to cut the number of unwanted pregnancies in Britain.

Doctors will be urged by Government ministers to advise young women to consider more modern methods of contraceptive that can last between three months and five years, rather than immediately opting for oral contraceptives.

A planned national campaign intends to make young women more aware of all contraceptives available after evidence indicates the injection and implant are the most reliable at preventing unwanted pregnancies.

The public health minister, Dawn Primaldo, will unveil the £10 million pilot scheme, which the Government plans to instigate nationwide.

Currently the majority of women who ask their doctor for contraception are offered the Pill. Just 14% use longer-lasting methods such as the injection or implant, whilst 35%, or three million, use the Pill.

However, three quarters of women forget to take their Pill on two or more consecutive days every month and risk falling pregnant. Forgetting to take the Pill is the most common reason cited by women seeking abortions.

The Department of Health estimates that if more women opted for long-acting contraceptives, the number of unwanted pregnancies would fall by 73,000.

However, critics argue that access to contraceptives is already inconsistent and that many doctors are not trained to fit the coil or implant, meaning women must visit sexual health clinics which are already overstretched.

In addition, none of the new methods of contraception protect against infection and campaigners insisted encouraging their use would increase the rate of diseases in Britain.

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