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Wednesday, June 25, 2008

The contraceptive Pill is outdated and leading to unwanted pregnancies and abortion as few women take it correctly, a leading expert said.

'Contraceptive Pill is outdated and does not work well', expert warns
Article in the Telegraph


"One in 12 women taking the Pill get pregnant each year because they miss so many tablets, Prof James Trussell, of Princeton University in America warned.

Women should instead use longer-lasting methods such as the implant or intra-uterine device (IUD) which can be fitted and forgotten, he said.

Half of all pregnancies in America are unintended and half of those happen because contraception failed or was not taken properly, the rest were not using any contraception.

No UK studies have ever been carried out but the rates are thought to be similar. Half of unintended pregnancies end in abortion.

Prof Trussell was speaking at the British Pregnancy Advisory Service conference in London and said few GPs offer long acting reversible contraceptives or are trained at fitting them, so most women end up using the Pill by default.

Also sexual health clinics where the methods are available are being closed down, either because of financial deficits in the NHS or just because it is a low priority, Prof Trussell said.

He said: "The Pill is an outdated method because it does not work well enough. It is very difficult for ordinary women to take a pill every single day. The beauty of the implant or the IUD is that you can forget about them."

"Ministers are 'insulting the intelligence' of British women by refusing to allow them to take medication to induce an abortion at home, experts said.

Current laws mean women seeking early abortions using drugs instead of surgery have to make two visits to an abortion clinic to take the two separate doses of medication.

Elsewhere in the world, including American and most of Europe, women take the first dose in the clinic and are given the second dose to take away and take at home 48 hours later.

"It implies British women are more stupid than the rest of the world," Prof Mitchell Creinin, of the University of Pittsburgh said at the British Pregnancy Advisory Service conference in London.

An amendment is expected to be tabled next month to the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill to allow women to be prescribed the drugs in a licensed premises but for them to be administered elsewhere."