The researchers did this study to estimate the prevalence of different sources of contraceptive supplies in Britain and its variation by key demographic and behavioral characteristics.

Researchers interviewed a Cross-sectional probability sample survey of women and men resident in Britain. Analyses reported here were 4571 women and 3142 men who reported having vaginal sex in the past year.

87.0% of women and 73.8% of men accessed at least one contraceptive source in the previous year. Most women used general practice, and most men used retail outlets. Women and men less commonly used community clinics, but they were younger and at greater sexual health risk. These associations were also observed among the 27.3% of women and 30.6% of men who used more than one source category for contraceptive supplies.

The study concluded that people in Britain use various sources to obtain contraceptive supplies, and some sources are more commonly used by those more vulnerable to poorer sexual health. Our findings suggest that national policy changes to increase access to contraceptive methods have affected the diversity of services used.