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10 things you should know for World Contraception Day

10 things you should know on World Contraception Day

It is exactly 10 years since World Contraception Day (WCD) was launched on 26 September 2007. WCD is a global campaign dedicated to improving awareness of contraception to enable young people to make informed decisions regarding their sexual and reproductive health.

In the spirit of #WCD2017, here are 10 facts about contraception across the globe:

  1. 211 million pregnancies are estimated to occur every year and currently more than 40% are unwanted pregnancies.
  2. Of the 40% unwanted pregnancies, about 50% end with an abortion, often in unsafe conditions that threaten the woman’s health and life.
  3. About 16 million adolescent girls aged 15 to 19 give birth every year, and one million are under 15. They are much more at risk of incurring fatal complications while giving birth than women over the age of 19.
  4. Young people are more likely to receive sexually transmitted infections than adults. Adolescents are disproportionally affected by HIV, and HIV/Aids remains the second greatest cause of death for adolescents worldwide.
  5. Of the estimated 38 million sexually active adolescents living in developing countries, 60% are, for varying reasons, not using any contraceptive method.
  6. From 1970 there has been a 36% increase in the use of contraceptive methods among women. There are big variances across regions in the world. In developing countries, one reason for not using a modern contraceptive despite wanting to avoid pregnancy is a fear of side-effects.
  7. There are now at least 17 contraceptive methods you can choose from. Female sterilisation is the most common method worldwide, followed by the intrauterine device (IUD).
  8. According to the Encyclopaedia of Birth Control, the first condoms appeared in 3000 B.C. They were made from animal intestines and fish bladders!
  9. The pill was first introduced in the UK in 1961, but for married women only.
  10. It is currently estimated that £0.75 per person per year is the cost of modern contraceptive services in developing regions. Improving and expanding the services to meet all women’s contraceptive needs would cost £1.40.

Plan International UK works around the world to support quality sexual and reproductive health education and services, and to change the attitudes that maintain the unequal relations between men and women that often lead to unwanted pregnancy. Find out more about our work.

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