DoH push for long-acting reversible contraceptives

Clinicians should advise young women to use long-acting reversible contraceptives (LARCs) instead of the Pill, public health minister Dawn Primarolo is expected to announce today.

Currently, most women who ask their GPs for contraception are prescribed the Pill. Only about 14 per cent of women use a LARC such as an injection or implant, compared with 35 per cent of women on the Pill.

A national campaign across England will aim to increase awareness of LARCs among women and teenagers. Plans for a £10 million pilot scheme are also expected to be announced by the public health minister.

NICE issued guidance in 2005 that stated that women requiring contraception should be given information and offered a choice of all contraceptive methods, including LARCs.

The guidance also states that LARCs are more cost-effective than the Pill, and that increasing the uptake of LARCs could cut the number of unintended pregnancies.

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