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Nurses should recommend contraceptive coil over morning after pill

Wednesday 21st September 2016
The contraceptive coil is more effective than the morning after pill, according to a new report. Image: flocu via iStock
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Nurses should recommend the coil to patients seeking emergency contraception as a 'more effective' alternative to the morning after pill.

This is the advice of the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), which believes women should be offered a more long-term option than the emergency pill to protect them against unwanted pregnancy, with copper intrauterine devices - more commonly known as IUDs or coils - believed to be the most suitable and effective solution.

Figures from NICE show that 95 per cent of patients seeking emergency contraception between 2014 and 2015 were given the morning after pill, which can be effective for up to 72 hours after intercourse.

However, research has shown that the coil can prove successful up to five days after unprotected intercourse or within five days of expected ovulation. In addition, a contraceptive coil can safely remain in the body for between five and ten years, providing a much more long-term solution to women who regularly practise unprotected sex.

With this in mind, NICE is recommending that nurses in the UK inform patients about this option before issuing them with the morning after pill, alongside issuing them with advice about safe sex to prevent the spread of sexually-transmitted infections.

Sue Birchill, head of nursing at sexual health services provider Brook, commented: "We believe all young people should be provided with accurate information about the different methods of emergency contraception available in order to make an informed choice about what is best suited to their individual needs, and we would urge local authorities not to jeopardise this by making cuts to funding for sexual health services."

Statistics show that the use of contraception among under-18s has fallen significantly in recent years in the UK, with around one in five pregnancies now unplanned.

In fact, NICE data reveals that the number of females aged between 15 and 17 using contraception in 2014 was at the lowest level since records began in 1969, following a 6.8 per cent decrease from 2013, meaning just 22,653 young women were actively protecting themselves against unwanted pregnancy.

Written by James Puckle

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