Emergency Contraception use by Irish Teenagers

                        Emergency Contraception use by

Irish Teenagers

The study is a review of 200 teenagers attending a Family Planning

Clinic in Dublin, for emergency contraception. 

Their ages ranged from 13 to 19 years. 

During the consultation with the doctor they were asked their age, the

reason why they needed emergency contraception, their usual method of

contraception, how many times they had P.C.C..before and the age they first had


The consultations were conducted in a non-judgmental and relaxed

manner.  All clients were reassured that

they could have emergency contraception as often as they needed it and that the

service was confidential.

Age of attendance:   77.5% were aged 17

or over.  22.5% were aged 16 or

younger.  The legal  age of consent is 17 in Ireland.  These statistics confirm many teenagers are

sexually active before 17.

Reason for attendance: Condom failure accounted for 48.5%.  3.5% was due to pill problems, while 48% had

used no contraception.  This shows that

teenagers have problems using condoms correctly and also that many are taking

chances and having unprotected sex.

Usual method of contraception: 75 % said  condoms were their usual method.  10% used oral contraception and 1.5% said

they used no contraception. For 13.5% it was the first time they had sex.

Previous use of emergency contraception: 65% had not used it before.

24% had used it once before. 9% had used it twice before. 0.5% had used it 4

times before and 1% had used it 5 times.

This shows the majority 89.5% had either never used or only used it once

before – disputing the belief that teenagers are using emergency contraception


Age of 1st sex:: 38% were aged 17 or over.  61.5% were aged 16 or younger. The average

age of first sex was 16.2 years.


Irish Family Planning Association




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