This is how coronavirus will affect you getting contraception

New guidelines have been released

The Faculty of Sexual and Reproductive Health (FSRH) has issued new guidelines about accessing contraception during the coronavirus pandemic.

The guidelines include a breakdown of important updates for each type of contraception as well as the advice that women should only visit their GP or clinic in person if further examination is required to minimise the potential spread of coronavirus.

Dr Anne Lashford, vice president of FSRH said: “Women must be able to access safe and effective contraception during the COVID-19 outbreak.

“Their first port of call should be the place where they have accessed care before – that could be their GP or their local sexual and reproductive healthcare clinic.

“Women should not attend the clinic in person, but make contact by telephone or email instead. Women will be asked to participate in a telephone or video consultation to discuss their needs.

“This is to minimise the potential spread of COVID-19 and to avoid unnecessary travel. If further examination is required, a face-to-face appointment may be arranged.”

These are the new guidelines for each type of contraception:

The combined pill

The FSRH say combined pill users no longer need a blood pressure reading for a six month repeat supply of pills.

Progesterone only pill

The FSRH say: “For existing POP users it is reasonable at this time to allow a further 12 month supply to be given without review.”

The implant

The new guidelines state the time the implant can be left in place has been extended by one year.

Copper IUD

They also state the time the IUD can be left in place has been extended by one year. The guidelines state users are not to have them removed at this time unless they “significant signs of infection” or “serious adverse side effects”.

Starting the pill

The guidelines state that those who wish to start on the pill will need to obtain a blood pressure reading and tell it over the phone to their GP.

According to the Metro, some people who need contraception injections have been switched onto the pill, which may not actually work for them.

Gynaecologist Dr. Shree Datta has said putting people on the pill may not be suitable for everyone as it can cause changes in their cycle and in some cases it could actually be quite dangerous.

She said: “Changing to the pill can lead to side effects, for example, a change in period duration and heaviness.

“Women who have high blood pressure, previous breast cancer or have had a DVT or blood clot in their lungs may not be suitable for the combined contraceptive pill.

“So a risk assessment before prescribing the pill, the pill type and dose is very important.”

covid-19 contraception guidelines

Alice, 22, told The Tab she was told she couldn’t get her implant removed. Alice is at the end of her three years of having the implant in and now it was time to get it removed, per NHS guidelines.

Today she phoned up her GP and was on the phone for an hour before being told she couldn’t get it removed.

She said her GP told her: “They’re actually safe for four years.”

Steph, 19, told The Tab her coil insertion has been cancelled and she won’t be given one until further notice.

For more information about accessing contraception during the coronavirus pandemic see here. 

For the latest NHS and government advice on coronavirus (COVID-19) see here.

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