French women opt for alternatives as Pill use drops

French women are using the contraceptive pill (the Pill) less and less, a new report shows

French women are using the contraceptive pill (the Pill) less and less as their primary method of contraception, according to a new study.

Figures from 2010 showed that 45% of women used the Pill as their main means of contraception, with that figure dropping to 40,5% in 2013, and to 36,5% in 2016.

The method is still the most used, but its popularity is declining in favour of others, such as the IUD (the intrauterine device, also called the coil), according to a recent study from Public Health France (Santé publique France), published this week, as reported by French news source 20 Minutes.

The new report - which included 4 315 women aged 15-49 - compared its findings to similar studies done by the French National Institute of Health and Medical Research (Institut national de la santé et de la recherche médicale, l’Inserm) and the National Institute for Demographic Studies (Institut national d'études démographiques, l’Ined) in 2010 and 2013 respectively.

It found that women had become less trusting of the Pill, especially after 2012, when more and more debates started to happen around the safety of the “3rd and 4th generation” formulas, following the death of a woman from a brain hemorrhage that was linked to her Pill.

Instead, other types of contraception were becoming more prevalent, with IUD use up 6.9% since 2010, along with condoms (up 4,7%), and the implant (up 1,9%).

Less than 5% of women said they were relying on “traditional” techniques, such as taking their temperature before intercourse, or the withdrawal method.

The study allayed fears that a drop in popularity for the Pill could lead to women shunning contraception altogether, finding that in 2016 just 8% of women said they weren’t using any regular form of contraception, compared to 9,1% in 2013, and 13,6% in 2010.

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