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Contraception clinics see 17,000 rise in visitors

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A report has shown that the number of people using NHS community contraception clinics rose to 1.3 million in the year to March 2009, an increase of 7% on the previous year.

Men made up the group with the biggest percentage rise, with 17,000 more attending a clinic than the previous year, a rise of 13% to a total of 140,000, according to the NHS Information Centre.

More women also attended clinics, with an increase of 6% - 67,000 new female visitors - taking the total number to 1.2 million.

However, in spite of the rise, the number of people attending has remained broadly stable over the last 10 years. For the past decade it has remained at around 2.5 million.

The report also showed that the most frequent visitors to the clinics were women aged 16-19. An estimated 21% of this age group visited a clinic during the year. Only 8% of under-15s visited a clinic. These figures are similar to those of the previous year.

The most popular form of contraception among women attending the clinics was oral contraception, with 44% using it, another figure that has remained stable since 2003-04.

However, long acting reversible contraceptives (LARCs) are on the increase, and now account for 24% of contraception given out at the clinics, in comparison with 18% in 2003-04.

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