Contraception

Primary care prescribing for contraception

GPrX Data captures data on all contraceptive items prescribed in UK primary care. Our online tool allows easy access to business intelligence for sales and marketing representatives.

82% of prescription items for contraception are for oral contraception, of which 56% are combined hormone pills and 44% are progestogen only pills. Forms of contraception such as the intrauterine system (IUS) or the intrauterine device (IUD), which provide protection against pregnancy for longer periods (3-5 years in the case of the IUS and 5-10 years in the case of the IUD) will require fewer prescription items per patient than oral contraception; between one and four over the course of ten years versus four or more per year for oral contraception. This, as well as popularity, is reflected in the prescribing data as only 1.5% of prescription items are for IUDs and 0.44% are for IUSs.

11% of contraceptive prescribing is for the contraceptive injection, which last 8 to 13 weeks depending on the brand. The contraceptive patch and the vaginal ring represent 1% and 0.25% respectively. Vaginal diaphragms and vaginal caps have very low prescribing rates, in comparison with other methods (less than 0.01% of all prescription items).

Emergency contraception, also available over-the-counter, makes up over 2% of contraceptive prescription items. The RxIndex below looks at the performance of the various emergency contraception brands in primary care prescribing.



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