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01st Jun 2023

Turns out Irish women are having more sex than they were 2 years ago

Brought to you by ellaOne®

The results are in!

Here at Her, we believe that there’s little more powerful than having open, honest conversations about sex.

From pleasure to self-love to contraception, we want to ignite a conversation, which is why we recently teamed up with ellaOne® to gauge our readers’ experiences.

For our survey, we reached out to women aged 18-34, to give us the inside scoop on their sex lives, and the results are in.

How much sex are we having?

As it turns out, young Irish women are having sex more frequently than they were two years ago. 61% of women aged 18-24 have sex at least once a week, compared with 49% in 2021. 58% of women between the ages of 25-34 are are having sex once a week or more, which is up from 50% two years ago.

Risky business

While Irish women are having more sex than they were two years ago, many are also taking risks when it comes to contraception. 73% of women surveyed have said that they have had unprotected sex before, where their contraception either failed, or none was used.

The most common explanation for women having unprotected sex in the last 12 months was that they got caught up or carried away in the moment, with 50% of women citing this. 33% of women said that one of their reasons for having unprotected sex was that they are in a long-term relationship and felt there was no need. There was also an increase in the number of women who said that the condom slipped or tore during sex: 22% of women experienced this in the past year, compared to 12% in 2021.

Methods of contraception

When it comes to the method of contraception we use, 47% of women use the pill, either the mini or combined pill. The next most popular method of contraception is condoms, at 41%, while 18% claim that they rely on the withdrawal method.

One major change since 2021 has been the introduction of the government’s free contraception scheme, which offers women between the ages of 17 and 26 free contraception. 67% of women in the 18-24 category have availed of it in the past 12 months, but 19% hadn’t heard about it.

Despite the availability of free contraception, 46% of women between the ages of 18-24 have said that there were occasions in the past year where they could have taken the morning-after pill but did not take it. As for their reasons, the number of women who felt too embarrassed to go to a pharmacy to avail of the pill jumped from 15% to 32% when compared with 2021, while 27% of women said that they couldn’t afford it.

The ellaOne® survey also found that a huge percentage of women – 69% – don’t understand how the emergency contraception pill works. Just over 3 in 10 correctly knew that the morning after pill works by delaying ovulation. What’s more, 20% still incorrectly believe that the morning after pill can make you infertile if you take it too many times.

Let’s talk about sex, baby

Our survey also gave us an insight into our conversations about sex, and the majority of women (74%) see most of the conversations about sex taking place among friends. Other places where women see conversations about sex happening include on podcasts (60%), TV and films ( 52%), TikTok (48%) and Instagram (38%). 13% said that they saw conversations about sex taking place in pornography.

Brought to you by ellaOne®

ellaOne® is an emergency contraceptive pill that is available from pharmacies and online through pharmacy Click & Collect services, without a prescription. It is free for women aged 17 to 26 and for medical card holders. No other morning after pill is more effective at preventing pregnancy after unprotected sex.

ellaOne® consists of one film-coated tablet which should be taken as soon as possible, but no later than 5 days (120 hours) after unprotected sex or contraceptive failure. Each film-coated tablet of ellaOne® contains 30 mg ulipristal acetate. Always read the label.

Visit for more information.