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Use of prescription contraceptive methods in the UK general population: a primary care study
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Caring Sciences, Family Medicine and Preventive Medicine.
2014 (English)In: British Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, ISSN 1470-0328, E-ISSN 1471-0528, Vol. 121, no 1, 53-61 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Objective: To determine prescription contraceptive use in the UK.

Design: Observational study using a primary care database. SettingThe Health Improvement Network (THIN).

Population: Women in THIN aged 12-49years in 2008, registered with their primary care doctor for at least 5years, and with a prescription history of at least 1year were included.  

Methods: THIN was searched using the Read and MULTILEX codes for the following methods: combined oral contraceptives (COCs), progestogen-only pills (POPs), copper intrauterine devices (Cu-IUDs), the levonorgestrel-releasing intrauterine system (LNG-IUS), progestogen-only implants, progestogen-only injections, and contraceptive patches.

Main outcome measures: Prevalence, switching, and duration of prescriptions.

Results: A cohort of 194054 women was identified. The prevalence of contraceptive use was: COCs, 16.2% (95%confidence interval, 95%CI 16.1-16.3%); POPs, 5.6% (95%CI 5.5-5.6%); Cu-IUD, 4.5% (95%CI 4.4-4.5%); LNG-IUS, 4.2% (95%CI 4.1-4.2%); progestogen-only implants, 1.5% (95%CI 1.5-1.6%); progestogen-only injections, 2.4% (95%CI 2.3-2.4%); and contraceptive patches, 0.1% (95%CI 0.1-0.2%). Within 1year, 9.8% of new COC users switched to alternative COCs, and 9.0% changed to a different method. Among new COC users who did not switch method, 34.8% did not continue use beyond 3months, and were no longer using a prescription contraceptive.

Conclusions: Among users of oral contraceptives who did not switch method, over one-third did not continue use beyond 3months. This supports current UK guidelines recommending a follow-up consultation with a healthcare professional 3months after the first prescription of COCs.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014. Vol. 121, no 1, 53-61 p.
Keyword [en]
Contraceptives, discontinuation, prevalence, switching, The Health Improvement Network, UK
National Category
Medical and Health Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-216047DOI: 10.1111/1471-0528.12465ISI: 000328647800009OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-216047DiVA: diva2:689264
Available from: 2014-01-20 Created: 2014-01-17 Last updated: 2014-01-20Bibliographically approved

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Wallander, Mari-Ann
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