Almost one in four women have experienced unplanned pregnancy, says IFPA

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.”

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