Over half of women who had an abortion in 2016 were using a form of contraception, says the British Pregnancy Advisory Service (BPAS).
51.2% of women who had an abortion in a BPAS clinic reported using a contraceptive with one in four on the most reliable forms of contraception.
Despite being on the pill or a long-active contraceptive (known as Larcs), more than 14,000 women fell pregnant.
Many only noticed their pregnancy at a late stage as they didn’t expect their contraception to fail.
Experts are reminding women that no method of contraception is 100% effective. The majority of Larcs are 99% effective with an extremely low chance of failure.
The pill, meanwhile, is around 91% effective while condoms sit at 82% effectiveness.
The BPAS says that unplanned pregnancies can occur if the contraceptive is not used properly or moves from its proper place.
Hormonal methods of contraception including the pill and patch can also hide traditional pregnancy symptoms as they can sometimes cause changes to your period.
Figures show that women using hormonal contraceptives are more likely to have abortions at a later time than other women.
In 2015, over 5% of women having abortions past the 20 week stage were on Larcs. That’s compared to the 3% who had an abortion at BPAS clinics before 19 weeks.
In England, Wales and Scotland, the legal limit for an abortion currently stands at 24 weeks.
The chief executive of BPAS, Ann Furedi, is warning women to remain vigilant when it comes to pregnancy.
“Our data shows that women cannot control their fertility through contraception alone, even when they are using some of the most effective methods,” she commented.
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