Contraception during the COVID-19 pandemic
posted by: Jonathan Shaw
Previously during the lockdowns of the COVID-19 pandemic we had to reduce the provision of routine contraception across our service. This included the suspension of all routine provision of Long Acting Reversible Contraceptives (LARCs). LARCs are methods including all hormonal and non-hormonal coils, implants and contraceptive injections.
We are now open for routine coil fits and implant procedures. However, our capacity is still limited so we apologise if we have to ask you to wait for an appointment. We will make sure you have contraceptive cover whilst waiting – more information is available here.
We are ensuring that contraception should be available to those that need it. We have now implemented a telephone triage system for all contraception needs. Please call your local clinic to access this triage system.
At present we are offering telephone triage to assess for and provide:
- Emergency contraception
- Supply of contraceptive pills (for collection from the service)
- Some routine LARC fitting and removals – more information here
- Complications arising from LARCs – eg. significant coil pain, implant pain, missing LARCs
- Advice and referral for abortion care
We are unable to provide Mirena fits for non-contraceptive reasons such as HRT or gynaecological treatments.
Helpful advice from the FSRH is available to support your contraceptive choices during these times – link
Finally please remember that condoms remain an effective and widely available form of barrier contraception.
A final note on moon cups:
We are aware that the use of moon cups and other menstrual cups is increasing due to concerns about the environment. With COVID-related travel restrictions in place they also offer a convenient way of managing periods when access to other sanitary products might be difficult.
We are seeing an increase in numbers of coils becoming dislodged or even removed by the use of such menstrual cups. We wish to advise caution, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic which means access to our service is limited.
Please follow the recommendations below when using a menstrual cup if you have a coil:
The manufacturer of the Moon Cup® recommends waiting for 6 weeks following the insertion of IUC before using the menstrual cup. They also state that the Moon Cup should be placed low in the vagina with an adequate seal, which should be broken before the cup is removed. The manufacturer also recommends checking for IUC threads after each menses. If the threads cannot be located, or if a woman thinks her Cu-IUD has moved or if a woman experiences pain, the manufacturer recommends using additional contraception and consulting with an appropriate health care professional. (FSRH guidance on Intrauterine contraception)
More information is available here.
If you do have concerns about your coil please phone your local clinic for advice.
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