Last night, Davina McCall's 'Pill Revolution' documentary aired on Channel 4, exploring different contraceptive methods, the possible side effects and barriers the women can face in accessing contraception.
Dr Geeta Kumar, consultant gynaecologist and Vice President of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, said:
“Contraception is a vital part of sexual and reproductive rights for women. Ensuring timely access to all methods of contraception, as well as high quality information and education, enables women to control when and if to have children.
“Hormonal contraceptives provide safe and effective way of preventing unwanted pregnancies. There are a number of different forms of contraception, and healthcare professionals should support women and people to make an informed choice about which contraception is right for them.
“Hormonal contraceptive methods can affect women differently, and some women may experience side effects from one form, and not another, such as headaches or mood changes. For the majority of women the contraceptive pill is safe and effective, and the benefits outweigh the risks. We would encourage anyone who has concerns about changes to their mood which they suspect could be related to their current contraception choice to speak to their healthcare professional.
“It is vital that women who do experience side effects with hormonal contraceptives feel that they are heard and listened to by healthcare professionals, and can have meaningful discussions about alternative contraceptive methods. We must also invest in research to better understand possible side effects, and explore ways to reduce the number of women experiencing them when they are accessing contraception.
“We know that there are currently challenges in accessing Long Acting Reversible Contraception (LARC) such as implants and coils, meaning that many women and people are affected by long waits. We hope that the expansion of the Women’s Health Hub model will address the fragmented commissioning of sexual and reproductive health services in England, and improve access to, and education about contraception.”
Notes to editors
FSRH has gathered resources for clinicians and patients, listed below:
Resources for clinicians
- UK Medical Eligibility Criteria for Contraceptive Use (UKMEC) The UK MEC helps clinicians decide what contraceptives they can safely recommend based on the medical conditions of patients in their care.
- FSRH Guidelines and Statements National Clinical Guidance produced by the FSRH Clinical Effectiveness Unit (CEU). The CEU is accredited by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE).
- FSRH Clinical Standards Service Standards produced by the FSRH Clinical Standards Committee
- SRH on Demand If you are looking to refresh your knowledge, our suite of SRH On-Demand learning options enable you to train or upskill in key areas, at your own pace, on your own terms, at a time convenient to you.
Resources for patients:
- Sexwise Factual information about STIs, contraception, pregnancy, and pleasure
- Brook Factual information of each method of contraception based on FSRH recommendations
- Brook Find a service tool
- The Lowdown Myth Buster Blogs