• This project will commence in September 2017 and run for 15 months.
  • Led by SH:24, an online sexual health service provider.
  • To be disseminated via SH:24’s networks.
  • Aiming to change contraceptive conversations to improve satisfaction with contraceptive methods and reduce unintended pregnancy.
  • A safe space for women to make contraceptive choices will be created, combining a social networking site and individual clinical advice.

Up to half of all pregnancies in England are unintended. Unintended pregnancies can cause significant morbidity for women and cost to the NHS.

Concern about health risks and side effects are the most common reasons for discontinuing contraception, and women who do so are at high risk of unintended pregnancy.

The GP practice is not necessarily the most appropriate place for women to discuss contraception, and a user consultation by SH:24 found limited choice offered to young women when they visit their GP. Women need more time and information to make contraceptive decisions and contraceptive information that is tailored to their needs. This needs to go beyond clinical information to include the experiences and concerns of peers.

This project will create a safe space for women to make contraceptive choices. It will adapt highly innovative, online, supported self-management strategies from mental health care and translate them for contraception. These strategies enable user-driven, clinically informed contraceptive conversations. 

The project will use a hybrid model, combining the shared experience of a social networking site and the individual clinical advice of a contraceptive consultation. The anonymous space will provide women with access to online conversations, accurate information and clinical advice. There will be resources signposted and the opportunity to talk to others with similar experiences.

Led by SH:24 (an NHS-funded, online sexual health service), this new project will be disseminated through their existing online networks with links from the SH:24 contraceptive information pages, which currently receive 8,000 visits per month.