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Findings of International Emergency Contraception Research

It is NOT only you: most women have several sexual partners throughout their lifetime. Many of you use various contraceptive methods to avoid an unwanted pregnancy, but even those of you using condom are facing a high risk of potential failure.

110 years of experience in gynaecology and present with emergency contraception in more than 100 countries have helped Gedeon Richter Plc. understand women’s needs. In order to gain more insight regarding the sexual behavior of today’s women and the contraceptive methods they use, we have initiated the POSTINOR International Emergency Contraception Research. Our researchers have asked 7000 women between 15-49 years and 520 pharmacists in 15 countries.

Findings of International Emergency Contraception Research

We have found that most women have more than one sexual partner throughout their life. Globally women have 5 sexual relationships on average. 40 percent of women surveyed have had sex with 1-3 partners while 10 percent have had over 10 partners. Women seemed to change partners more frequently in Austria and the UK where the average number of partners were nine and eight respectively, while in Vietnam the women asked had only one sexual relationship.

Findings of International Emergency Contraception Research

Our research pointed out that everyone faces the risk of a contraceptive failure, regardless of their sexual behaviour or contraception awareness. According to the results of our survey condom use is the most popular contraceptive method to avoid an unwanted pregnancy. Even with the use of condom one third of women have experienced a failure, and almost half of these women simply were not sure what led to the malfunction.

Findings of International Emergency Contraception Research

Although such a malfunction can result in an unwanted pregnancy, only half of the women using condom agree that it’s necessary to use EC after unprotected sexual intercourse. Moreover only 3 out of 10 women using condom would try to obtain EC immediately after an accident.

Unfortunately, many women in trouble act too late and turn to drastic solutions, such as abortion. According to our research, 14 percent of women using condom have stated that they have had an abortion. An abortion is not a “simple” medical procedure. For many women, it is a life-changing event with significant physical, emotional and spiritual consequences.

Findings of International Emergency Contraception Research

If the primary contraceptive method has failed, emergency contraception offers a discreet and widely available alternative to an unwanted pregnancy – but only if used within 72 hours after sex. Ask your pharmacist!

See our video summarizing our findings on risky methods such as withdrawal and after that read more details about this topic.

We have found that for most women, good sex is an important part of life. Globally, on average women have sex with their partners 2.3 times a week.

In which country do you think women have sex the most often…?

  • UK
  • Spain
  • Russia
  • Vietnam
  • Austria

It might come as a surprise to learn that Spanish lovers don't have the most sex. On average Spanish women participate in sexual intercourse 2.1 times per week, while their Russian counterparts are the most passionate globally having sex 2.6 times on a weekly basis. Women in the UK sleep with their partners 1.7 times per week, while the ladies in Austria and Vietnam are slightly more sexually active showing figures of 1.8 and 1.9 times per week respectively. Globally, on average women have 2.3 sexual intercourses per week.

Quality is usually more important than quantity, especially when it comes to sex and contraception.

Many of you would like to avoid unexpected pregnancy and use a wide variety of contraceptive methods. Women most often use male condoms (27%) and oral contraceptive pills (22%) when having sex. The survey also showed that 17% of women still choose risky birth controls, such as withdrawal and calendar method, even though other studies show that on average, 27% of women who use withdrawal and 25% of those who use the calendar method get pregnant within a year (so called “Pearl-index).

While many unexpected pregnancies caused by the failure of risky birth controls could be avoided, our research pointed out that everyone faces the risk of a failure of contraceptive methods, regardless of their sexual behavior or contraception awareness. Even with using condom one third of women had a failure, and most of them simply “just did not know what happened”, or experienced that “there was a problem with condom”, less than one quarter did not use it properly.

Findings of International Emergency Contraception Research

Unfortunately, many women in trouble act too late and turn to drastic solutions, such as abortion. According to the POSTINOR International Emergency Contraception Research, 19% of women had stated that they had an abortion (almost half of them had more than one), although only 3% were planning to do it. Abortion is not a “simple” medical procedure. For many women, it is a life-changing event with significant physical, emotional and spiritual consequences.

And yet many women still consider abortion as a viable option, even though emergency contraception is a discreet, safe and (easily) available alternative to avoid unwanted pregnancy after sex. Half of the women surveyed agreed that it’s necessary to use emergency contraception after unprotected sexual intercourse, but only 28% would immediately try to obtain a pill, and 25% of women would calculate their menstrual cycle and risk abortion by waiting too long – instead of choosing the safer way. Family and friends are important sources of information, but pharmacists play a key role in preventing the worst-case scenario by informing their customers.

If the primary contraceptive method you use has failed, emergency contraception is a discreet and available alternative to avoid unwanted pregnancy – but only if taken within 72 hours after sex. Ask your pharmacist!

See our findings summarizing key facts visualized as well:

Findings of International Emergency Contraception Research