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Talking contraception

Sarah Lucy Contraception

Marie Stopes Australia is looking for parents and guardians to take part in a national survey exploring the importance of the parent-child relationship when it comes to contraception use in teenagers.

Talking about sex with teenagers can be a pretty daunting task says Marie Stopes Australia’s Head of Population Health, Sarah Gafforini, but it’s vital to prevent unplanned pregnancies and STIs.

“At Marie Stopes Australia we see a lot of young women who are experiencing unplanned pregnancy, and we want to avoid that happening as much as possible,” Sarah says.

There is a distinct lack of research about this relationship when it comes to influencing knowledge and decisions about contraception in teenagers.

However the limited research that has taken place indicates that proactive communication between a parent and their child leads to a higher quality relationship. A study in the Netherlands also suggests that girls (rather than boys) who have a high relationship quality with their mothers were significantly less likely to have initiated early sexual intercourse.

In Australia 50% of women experience an unplanned pregnancy, despite the fact that 70 percent of women use contraception.

There are a number of contraception options available. However in Australia, as in most Western countries, contraceptive failure and access to contraception contributes to unintended pregnancies rates in Australia. The number of abortions in women aged less than 30 years is more than double that of women aged over 30 years.

“We want to hear from Australian parents of 12 to 20 year olds about their comfort level in having discussions about contraception with their children, their knowledge and the type of support parents are looking for when having these conversations,” Sarah says.

Take the survey or connect with us through Facebook.


Marie Stopes Australia is the only nationally accredited contraception and safe abortion provider helping Australian women and men take control of their sexual and reproductive health.

Media contact:
Jacquie O’Brien on 0428 396 391