Coronavirus and contraception: How to get birth control during lockdown
Coronavirus has limited the normal freedoms people enjoy in their day-to-day lives. Britons are endeavouring to live their normal lives as much as possible, but as people continue to adjust to lockdown, Express.co.uk has compiled a guide about how to get contraception during the coronavirus pandemic.
According to the latest NHS statistics, care relating to contraception was administered 1.4 million times by the UK’s sexual health or reproductive services in 2018 and 2019 – from smear tests to general health advice.
During that period, there was a 44 percent rise in longer-term reversible contraceptives including an IUD or the injection.
Additionally, there was a 39 percent update of the contraceptive pill.
There was a 39 percent drop in emergency contraceptive items provided over the last 10 years.
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Can you arrange a contraception appointment during lockdown?
If you have a contraception appointment with the NHS it is likely you will be contacted to re-arrange the appointment for a later day after the lockdown is lifted.
The Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) is recommending GPs conduct telephone consultations wherever possible.
This means you may still be able to speak with your doctor.
What changes has the NHS made for those awaiting contraception?
The NHS is putting significant effort into the frontline response of coronavirus.
The NHS has said those who are awaiting replacement IUD coils, implants (Nexplanon), or are looking to start taking the pill will see changes as a result of COVID-19.
New pill starters will be asked to obtain a blood pressure reading at home which can be given to a doctor over the phone.
Combined pill users will no longer need a blood pressure reading for a six-month repeat supply of pills.
The length of time the IUD and implant can be left in place has now been extended by one year.
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What is the most effective means of protection during lockdown?
The most effective protection from STIs and unwanted pregnancies during lockdown is a condom.
You can purchase condoms in shops or online.
Additionally, you can also continue to access methods through your GP, so there is no need to stockpile condoms.
How to get emergency contraception
If you have COVID-19 symptoms you must remain at home and avoid going out at all.
This means you are not permitted to access your GP and therefore may struggle to get emergency contraception.
However, most pharmacies can deliver the morning after pill to you for a small fee.
Alternatively, you can ask a family member or friend to collect it for you and use a contact-free method of delivery.
Access to sexual health support is harder during these unprecedented times, however medical authorities have stressed that anyone who needs healthcare is still able to access the HS.
Pharmacies and supermarkets are deemed essential businesses and therefore remain open during lockdown.
These businesses have remained open, even in countries where the disease has run rampant, such as in Italy and Spain.
Pharmacies often offer prescription services and contraceptive support, including the pill and emergency contraception.
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