Sex is one of the biggest sensationalised topics in the media, yet many people are afraid to talk about it. Within this, contraception can often be seen as a taboo conversation — but why is that?
In 2019/2020 it was recorded that 1.9 million women in England contacted NHS sexual health services for contraception. With the UK itself having a female population of 33.94 million, clearly not enough women are receiving the help they need.
There are a few reasons why this is happening. Firstly, many women do not have access to a reliable sexual health service. They might live in certain areas where clinics are unavailable or provide very limited opening hours. They might live too far away and are unable to drive or take public transport to receive help. Overwhelmingly, many women might feel scared or afraid to ask for contraception. There has been an associated ‘guilt’ with taking something that changes our bodies mental and physical health. It is important for women to know that taking contraception is their personal choice. At Cardiff women’s aid, there is always a comforting and safe space to discuss contraception and the options available for women.
What is the importance of contraception?
Contraception is otherwise known as birth control which is a method used to prevent pregnancy. The importance of contraception simply comes down to ensuring a women’s safety. Without contraception, there is a much higher risk of unintended pregnancies and unsafe abortions occurring. According to the ‘Welfare of Women Global Health Programme’, some 75,000 women die from unsafe abortions each year worldwide. Condoms in particular can help to prevent the spreading of sexually transmitted diseases and infections which can be fatal to a people’s health. With contraception being free for most people in the UK and condoms being sold in supermarkets, it is encouraged people use these services if you are able to.
What are the different methods?
There are around 15 different methods of contraception. Often, many people change their contraceptive method depending on the one they get on with the most- this is completely normal. A small list of the most popular methods include:
- Combined Pill
- Contraceptive Injection
- Condoms (Female)
- Contraceptive patch
- Condoms (Male)
- Contraceptive Implant
More information and side effects on these options can be seen at the NHS website.
Where can I access contraception?
As stated previously, contraception is completely free under the NHS health service across the UK. It can also be provided for people under the age of 16. It is accessible in any GP surgery, community contraception clinic, sexual health clinics and some young people’s services.
Places to access contraceptive services in Cardiff include:
The Department of Sexual
Cordell Centre (GUM Clinic)
Royal Gwent Hospital
Park Place Surgery
37 Park Place