Almost one in four Irish women have experienced an unplanned or crisis pregnancy, according to new research.
New figures from the Irish Family Planning Association show that 38% of Irish couples report using no contraception, while 30% rely on the withdrawal method.
Condoms (25%) are the most popular form of protection, followed by the pill (19%).
The IFPA said that the figures show a need for more education and knowledge on reliable contraceptive methods.
The research, commissioned by the IFPA and Durex Ireland, was conducted amongst a nationally representative sample of Irish adults, 72% of whom were in a committed relationship. Almost half (49%) were between ages 35-54 and 34% were aged 18-34.
The research shows that that 24% of all women surveyed reported experiencing an unplanned or crisis pregnancy in the past. Among 18-34-year-olds, 16% reported experiencing unplanned pregnancy.
Commenting on the research, Dr Caitriona Henchion, Medical Director of the IFPA, said: “Women of all reproductive ages in Ireland experience pregnancies that are unplanned, unwanted or represent a crisis to them.
“If a pregnancy would be a crisis for a woman or couple, then it makes sense to use a contraceptive method they can rely on. But this recent research shows that almost 1 in 10 couples are using an unreliable method —withdrawal— rather than condoms or other reliable methods of contraception.
“This is really concerning and shows that there is a need for more education and knowledge so that women are empowered to make the choice of contraceptive that’s best for them.”