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Publication, Part of

Sexual and Reproductive Health Services, England (Contraception) 2020/21

National statistics, Official statistics

National Statistics

Current Chapter

Part 1: Contacts with Sexual and Reproductive Health Services


Re-issue of publication

This publication was re-issued after missing data was identified at some providers.

Following collection of the missing data, the total number of contacts increased by 33,579 (+2.2%). All figures have been updated to reflect this change.

28 October 2021 12:00 PM

Part 1: Contacts with Sexual and Reproductive Health Services

Introduction

This part provides a summary of activity recorded in the SRHAD collection. As the primary focus of the collection is contraception, it may not capture all non-contraception related activity taking place at SRH services. Overall contacts may be effected by changes in recording practices for non-contraception related activity over time, though efforts have been made with data providers in recent years to ensure completeness and consistency. Contacts for reasons of contraception should be less affected by these issues.

People may contact SRH services for a number of reasons, including but not exclusively:

  • Provision of a main or supporting method of contraception, or contraception advice.
  • Provision of emergency contraception.
  • Removal of contraception devices.
  • Sexual health advice and STI care.
  • Pregnancy or abortion related issues.

For non-contraceptive activity taking place at SRH services, SRHAD only includes summary data. More detailed data on services relating to Genitourinary Medicine, is collated by Public Health England:

https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/sexually-transmitted-infections-stis-annual-data-tables

A contact is defined as a contact with the service, including external contacts, i.e. where an individual patient receives care outside the clinic setting, for example in his or her own home. Non-face to face contacts were added to the scope in version 2 of SRHAD from 2015/16.


Overall contacts with Sexual and Reproductive Health Services

Contacts by year

In 2020/21, there were 1.58 million contacts with dedicated SRH services made by 0.83 million individuals. This was a decrease of 20% compared to the number of contacts in 2019/20 (1.97 million). The number of individuals using SRH services decreased by 33% compared to 2019/20 (1.2 million).

The number of contacts per year has fallen 39% since 2010/11 (when there were 2.57 million).  Changes over time may be affected by variation in the way services record the non-contraception related activity included in this measure.  Provision of SRH services in 2020/21 has also been affected by the impact of the Covid 19 pandemic. 

In 2020/21, there were 1 million contacts for reasons of contraception, down 22% compared to 2019/20 (1.29 million), and down 46% compared to 2014/15 (1.87 million). This data is not available prior to 2014/15 due to differences in how the data was collected.

Non face to face contacts

Non-face to face contacts (for example, by e-mail, telephone, SMS, talk type) were added to the scope in version 2 of SRHAD from 2015/16. Up to 2020/21, they accounted for only a small percent of annual contacts (between 1 and 3%). However in 2020/21, 43% of contacts were not face to face at a clinic.

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For more information: Data tables 1 and 3


Reason for contacts with Sexual and Reproductive Health Services

A single contact with SRH services may involve more than one reason.   

Reason for contact by females

83% of all contacts with SRH services were by females (1.28 million contacts).

7% of female contacts involved the provision of a new main method of contraception, 13% a change of main method and 38% the maintenance of an existing main method. This is a total of 58% of contacts where a main method was supplied or maintained.

13% involved pre-contraception advice, and 3% emergency contraception.

72% involved one or more other types of activity (whether with or without a contraception-related service). See table 5 in the Excel data tables for a full breakdown of this activity. 

Reason for contact by males

17% of all contacts with SRH services were by males (264 thousand contacts).

5% of male contacts involved the supply/maintenance of a main method, and 3% pre-contraception advice.

99% involved other activities (whether with or without a contraception-related service).

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For more information: Data tables 4 and 5


Likelihood of contact with an SRH service (for reasons of contraception)

This section only includes people who used a service for reasons of contraception, including for emergency contraception and contraception related advice. 

Likelihood of contact by age and gender

4% of females between the ages of 13 and 54 had at least one contact with an SRH service for reasons of contraception, down from 5% in 2019/20, and 7% in 2014/15. For males in the same age group, it was less than 0.1% of the resident population.

The likelihood of a female contacting a service varies between ages.

Females aged 18 to 19 and aged 20 to 24 were most likely to use a service for contraception, with 8% for both age groups, having at least one contact.

2% of females aged 15 and 0.4% of females aged 13 to 14 had at least one contact. These equate to 1% of females aged 13 to 15.

Likelihood of contacts by females (aged 13 to 54), by Local Authority (LA) of residence

The likelihood of a female using an SRH service for reasons of contraception will be influenced by the availability of such services in their area of residence.

The proportion of the female population (aged 13 to 54) that used a service for reasons of contraception, was highest in Blackpool (14%), Knowsley (14%), and Liverpool (12%).

Across LAs, up to 32% of 18-19 year olds used a service for reasons of contraception, and up to 32% of 20-24 year olds (both Blackpool and Knowsley), though there was a large amount of variation.

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For more information: Data tables 2 and 16a


Last edited: 28 October 2021 9:46 am