One of the UK’s leading pharmacies has issued a stark warning to older women about the dangers of unprotected sex – hot on the heels of a major national campaign to raise awareness of unplanned pregnancies among women over 35.
The Co-operative Pharmacy, which has nearly 800 branches, has seized on the “Conceivable?” campaign, launched by the Family Planning Association (FPA) last week, to highlight the fact that unplanned pregnancies are not the only issue facing older women – sexually transmitted infections (STIs) in the 45-64 age group are also showing a worrying increase, with Chlamydia up 119%.1
“Any woman who thinks that these problems are faced only by teenagers must think again,” said Wendy Lee, Clinical Governance Pharmacist at The Co-operative Pharmacy.
“As more adults begin new relationships later on in life, they are not always thinking about the consequences of unprotected sex.”
Research also shows that nearly a third (32%) of 45-54 year olds believe that it is unlikely or very unlikely that they would be at risk of getting an STI if they had unprotected sex with a new partner or someone other than their current partner.2
Lee explains: “Some STIs don’t cause any symptoms, especially in women and if these go undetected this can cause more widespread health problems later on.
“There are a number of contraceptive options available and these generally suit all age ranges. However, male condoms provide the most effective protection against STIs.
“All options should be discussed with a healthcare professional and they will be able to provide the relevant support and guidance, including advice on emergency contraception.”
All branches of The Co-operative Pharmacy offer advice on contraception and STIs as well as many other prescription services and hayfever treatments.
To find your nearest Co-operative Pharmacy and for further information visit: http://www.co-operative.coop/pharmacy/
Notes to editors
1Between 1999-2008. Some of the most common STIs for females in this age bracket have risen 84% in this period.
Source: Health Protection Agency http://www.hpa.org.uk/web/HPAwebFile/HPAweb_C/1215589014053
2 Original Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain research carried out by YouGov between 16-18 March 2009 interview 2258 UK adults aged 18-55+
The Co-operative Group stands apart from other major retailers in the UK as a business which is owned, not by a small group of shareholders, but by more than five million consumers.
With core interests in food, financial services, travel, pharmacy and funerals, it has an annual turnover of more than £14 billion, employs 123,000 staff and operates over 5,000 retail trading outlets handling more than 20 million weekly transactions.
Following the acquisition of the Somerfield supermarket chain in March 2009, The Co-operative Food is the fifth largest food retailer. The Co-operative Financial Services is one of the largest and most diversified financial mutual businesses operating The Co-operative Bank, The Co-operative Insurance and Britannia.
The Co-operative is the UK’s number one provider of funeral services, the third largest retail pharmacy chain, and a leading travel retailer, supplying the travel needs of more than three million people annually.
Among its other businesses are The Co-operative Motor Group, The Co-operative Electrical Shop and The Co-operative Legal Services.