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Unwanted pregnancies caused by poor contraception awareness

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Many women who fall pregnant unintentionally do so because they have not received enough information on contraception rather than the method failing because of a fault, suggest survey results.

The research – The Condom Broke! Why Do Women in the UK Have Unintended Pregnancies?’ – was carried out by telephone interview during the summer of 2008 among almost 2,000 women who were booking appointments to attend a Marie Stopes centre for abortion services.

It found that many were largely unaware of the full range of contraception options, others misunderstood how to use their chosen method correctly, while over one fifth reported not using a method regularly.

‘The UK has high levels of unintended pregnancy with approximately 200,000 women in England and Wales seeking abortions every year,’ said Louise Bury, a research manager at Marie Stopes, who carried out the research.

‘Since contraception in the UK is free of charge and easily available, and since the UK has high levels of reported contraceptive use, it is puzzling why more unintended pregnancies are not avoided,’ she said.

‘This research sheds some light on the reasons why women requesting abortion have fallen pregnant unintentionally and the actions women and healthcare professionals can take to prevent unplanned pregnancies occurring in the future,’ she added.

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