In the media

6 May 2022

Could our reproductive rights be eroded?

The Medical Republic

The leaked Supreme Court draft opinion in favour of overturning Roe v Wade has caused anxiety beyond US shores. It sends a signal that could embolden anti-abortion activists and legislators elsewhere in the world, including Australia.

5 April 2022

Is tracking your cycle a safe form of birth control?

Fashion Journal

Family Planning NSW's Medical Director, Dr Deborah Bateson explains that the fertility awareness method revolves around finding your "fertile window", which spans from the five days before ovulation, to on day after.

11 March 2022

Eliminating cervical cancer in Tuvalu

The Australian Government Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

NGO Family Planning NSW is supporting Tuvalu to eliminate cervical cancer. In partnership with the Tuvalu Family Health Association (TuFHA) and Tuvalu's Ministry of Health (MOH), they are working to establish a cervical screening and treatment program.

23 February 2022

Ensuring equal access to cervical screening

The Medical Republic

Cervical cancer occurs mostly in women who are under-screened or not screened at all, and people with intellectual disabilities may be missing out. One of the barriers is the common but false assumption that women with intellectual disability aren't sexually active.

11 February 2022

Six decades since the pill changed everything, there's still work to do on contraception

Women's Agenda

The arrival of the pill gave more control for women to plan families, to work and build a career, to avoid unintended pregnancies and have more control over their sex lives. That was six decades ago. How far has innovation around contraception come and what do we still have to do?

17 January 2022

$10 million boost to increase participation in cancer screening

The Australian Government Department of Health

Family Planning NSW will receive $1.4 million to undertake research to increase the uptake of cervical screening for people with intellectual disability.

30 November 2021

Contraceptive Choices

ABC News

Contraception has been, and still is, a game changer for women around the world. But the risks and side effects that come with it can take a real toll on a woman's quality of life. Should we be demanding more than what's on offer - including sharing more of the load with men?

14 November 2021

Men may soon take control of contraception with new 'testicle bath' gadget

The West Australian

Family Planning NSW Medical Director Dr Deborah Bateson said both men and women should be able to access contraception. She says while many men want to play their part, there is a challenge getting pharmaceutical companies to go to market with new drugs or devices.

11 November 2021

Farewell Speculum: HPV Self-Screening Open For All

According to a new government announcement, HPV self-screening will be available to everyone eligible for cervical cancer screening from 1 July 2022. Dr Bateson says the change is a vital step towards eliminating cervical cancer in Australia.

2 November 2021

Online birth control subscription services are on the rise

ABC News

Access to birth control pills is currently being considered by the nation's medical regulator with GPs and pharmacists weighing in. Medical Director of Family Planning NSW, Dr. Deborah Bateson, says it's very important for women to have a chat with their doctor about available options.

16 September 2021

Why your doctor doesn't care about your pubic hair

Dr Clare Boerma, ABC Everyday

As a doctor working in sexual and reproductive health, I have gained some insight into the complex relationship we have with our bodies. I aim to create a space which feels safe and without judgement, offering a pelvic examination, women often seem to apologise for their bodies.

14 September 2021

Why is contraception still viewed as a woman's responsibility?

Juna Xu, Lifehacker

"In recent years, there has been a shift in the presumption that contraception should primarily be a woman's responsibility and there is evidence showing a high proportion of men find the idea of male contraceptive acceptable," says Family Planning NSW Associate Medical Director Clare Boerma.

11 August 2021

Pelvic inflammatory disease is common and easily treatable yet often overlooked

Grace Jennings-Edquist, ABC Everyday

Pelvic inflammatory disease can be underdiagnosed, says Deborah Bateson, the medical director of Family Planning New South Wales and Clinical Associate professor in obstetrics, gynaecology and neonatology at the University of Sydney. That's partly because symptoms of PID are highly variable and it sometimes doesn't cause symptoms at all.

19 July 2021

We're on track to eliminate HIV but women can't be left behind

Dr Deborah Bateson, Women's Agenda

You might be surprised to learn that women make up around 11% of people living with HIV in Australia. Misplaced assumptions about who is at risk of HIV can mean some women experience a delayed diagnosis, causing them to miss the benefits of early intervention therapies and sustain greater damage to their immune systems.

30 June 2021

Insertion and removal of IUDs can be painful and not being prepared can make it all worse

Carol Raabus, ABC Everyday

Deborah Bateson is the medical director of Family Planning NSW and says people need to feel safe and informed when having an invasive procedure done. "We really want people to feel empowered to express any anxieties they might have and also to say stop," Dr Bateson says.

22 June 2021

5 minutes with Erin Donnelly from Planet Puberty

Reframing Disability

Planet Puberty is a new suite of resources designed to help parents and carers of children with intellectual disability or autism navigate the changes to their child's bodies, emotions and social interactions occurring during puberty. The project includes a website, webinar series and podcast.

9 June 2021

Practising safe sex beyond your 30s

Grace Jennings-Edquist, ABC Life

No matter your age, if you're having unprotected sex, you're at risk of catching a slew of infections, says Deborah Bateson, the medical director of Family Planning NSW. So if you thought STIs were a young person's problem, you'd be wrong.

25 May 2021

Sexual and reproductive health guidelines

Dr Justin Coleman, Australian Prescriber Podcast

Medical Director of Family Planning NSW Dr Deborah Bateson chats about the latest updates on sexual and reproductive health published by Therapeutic Guidelines. The conversation covers contraception, endometriosis, infertility, menopause, medical abortion and – something for the blokes – testosterone deficiency.

3 May 2021

Sexual consent education for schools, universities on the rise following media attention

Edwina Storie, ABC

Sexual health organisations are reporting a spike in demand for consent education due to the media coverage of sexual assault stories this year. "What we've found in particular, lately, people are saying consent specifically is what they really want to zero-in on," Ms Roth said.

3 May 2021

Blood clotting and the pill: Here's what you had to say

Eden Gillespie, The Feed SBS

Women should be empowered with information about their healthcare, said Dr Deborah Bateson, a Clinical Associate Professor of Gynaecology and Neonatology at the University of Sydney and Medical Director at Family Planning NSW. Dr Bateson believes the initial consultation for prescribing the pill can be lengthy but doctors should not “underestimate” women and instead, provide them with as much information as possible.

28 April 2021

Got the puberty blues? New website could help

Kymberly Martin, Freedom 2 Live

Family Planning NSW has launched Planet Puberty, a website, podcast and webinar series for parents and carers of children with intellectual disability and/or autism spectrum disorder.

19 April 2021

Major collaboration aims to eliminate cervical cancer in the Western Pacific

University of New South Wales Newsroom

Family Planning NSW on behalf of the NHMRC Centre of Research Excellence in Cervical Cancer Control (C4) joins Cancer Council NSW, the Kirby Institute and VCS Foundation to lead a cervical cancer elimination program in the West Pacific, thanks to a landmark $8.1 million investment from the Minderoo Foundation.

8 March 2021

Taboos, trust and trauma | Clare Boerma profile

Holly Payne, The Medical Republic

Dr Boerma is the Associate Medical Director of Family Planning NSW, a leading non-profit organisation that addresses the sexual health needs of underserved communities.

24 February 2021

People warned against taking contraceptive pill Microgynon 50 due to health risk

Ange McCormack, Triple J Hack

Dr Debora Bateson from Family Planning NSW says the updated guidelines will keep patients safe, but that people taking Microgynon 50 right now do not need to panic.

12 February 2021

Tips for having the vasectomy talk with your partner

Kellie Scott, ABC Everyday

Dr Bateson says even though Australia has one of the highest rates of vasectomy in the world (one in four men over 40 have had one), it can still be a taboo subject, making it tricky to discuss - even with a partner.

5 February 2021

Awabakal Health teams up with Family Planning NSW for new clinic at Maitland and Raymond Terrace

The Newcastle Herald

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in the Hunter now have greater access to reproductive and sexual health services thanks to a new partnership between Family Planning NSW and Awabakal Health

29 January 2021

Australians left waiting nine months for contraceptive pills

Mary Ward, The Brisbane Times

Some Australians are set to have been without their regular contraceptive pill for nine months, after a predicted product shortage of two popular pills was extended to April. Family Planning NSW Medical Director Dr Deborah Bateson said prices of replacement medications in pharmacies can be prohibitively expensive.

29 December 2020

More Australian men are getting vasectomies than ever before, despite some enduring myths

Daniel Colasimone, ABC

Australia has the second-highest rate of vasectomies in the world, after New Zealand, with one in four men over 40 having it done. But Family Planning NSW Medical Director Dr Bateson says vasectomies need to be raised in the public consciousness so everyone is aware that it's part of a suite of contraceptive options.

16 December 2020

Australia's first birth control app has been approved by the TGA. Do they work?

Dariya Salmin, Hack on Triple J

Family Planning NSW's Dr Deborah Bateson strongly supports people making informed choices, weighing up all the different contraceptive options and finding out what works best. But she said for some people fertility awareness apps are not going to suit, and notes that this method is not the most effective contraceptive on the market.

2 November, 2020

Family Planning team with Clinic 66 to bring bulk-billed vasectomy service to Dubbo

The Daily Liberal

Family Planning NSW and Clinic 66 will bring a bulk-billed vasectomy clinic to Dubbo on November 19 and 20, as part of World Vasectomy Day. The clinic means men in Dubbo and western NSW will have the opportunity to access the service through bulk-billing. It usually costs between $300 to $700 in a private clinic.

27 October, 2020

Implants and IUDs are the most effective contraception. Why aren't more of us using them?

Claudia Long, Triple J Hack

When it comes to contraception, there are so many choices that sometimes it can be a bit overwhelming to find the right one. For most Australian women, the go-to is normally the pill but doctors are encouraging us to give some thought to another option: long-acting reversible contraceptives (LARCs.)

9 October, 2020

Teach teens fertility planning to avoid IVF later, specialist says

Kate Aubusson, Sydney Morning Herald

High school students should be taught about family planning alongside warnings about the dangers of unsafe sex to end a misconception that having a baby is as simple as doing away with condoms and contraceptive pills, a leading fertility specialist says.

9 September 2020

Money and Motivation: The obstacles behind male hormonal contraceptives

Alice Matthews, The Feed

The contraceptive pill for women has been around since the 1960s. And an equivalent for men has been in development just about as long. So why isn't it here yet?

12 August 2020

How sexual assault survivors can feel in control during cervical screenings

Kellie Scott, ABC Life

One in five Australian women has experienced sexual violence since the age of 15. And research shows those who have experienced sexual abuse, either as adults or children, are less likely to attend regular cervical screening.

15 July 2020

Trans issues and abortion in spotlight in new Handbook

Ruby Prosser Scully, Medical Republic

Transgender health and gynaecological emergencies are in the spotlight in the newly updated handbook for reproductive and sexual health in primary care. Family Planning NSW's newly released Reproductive and Sexual Health handbook also updates advice on topics such as abortion and cervical health in light of recent legislative and clinical changes.

17 June 2020

A quick guide to cervical screening test results (formerly pap smear)

Kellie Scott, ABC Life

Although the test changed in 2017, many cervix-owners may remain unfamiliar with the difference, particularly when it comes to results.

22 April 2020

How the pandemic is affecting sexual health

Ruby Prosser Scully, Medical Republic

Society is in upheaval. Healthcare is facing unprecedented disruption. One thing that is easy to overlook amid the massive changes wrought by the coronavirus pandemic is patients' reproductive and sexual health. Now experts have weighed in on the most important shifts you need to know about this lockdown.

2 April 2020

Telehealth sexual health service launched

Fairfield Champion

Family Planning NSW has launched an online and telehealth service for reproductive and sexual healthcare appointments during the coronavirus crisis. The new telehealth service ensures people access to essential reproductive and sexual health services during a time when social distancing and self-isolating is so important.

25 February 2020

Most Women Think The Morning-After Pill Is The Most Effective Form Of Emergency Contraception. It's Not.

Gina Rushton, BuzzFeed News

Exclusive: Only 13% of women surveyed by an Australian reproductive health organisation knew copper IUDs were an option. Family Planning NSW senior research officer Dr Jessica Botfield said one barrier to accessing the device was cost.

6 February 2020

Doctors Can Already Turn Away Women Seeking Contraception Or An Abortion. So What Will Australia's Religious Discrimination Bill Do?

Gina Rushton, Buzzfeed News

Doctors in Australia can already object on religious grounds to providing contraception and abortion. In fact, several doctors have signs in their offices outlining that they will not see patients about contraception, abortion, sterilisation or in-vitro fertilisation. Religious hospitals, too, can turn away patients with these needs.

20 January 2020

How effective is the pill?

Dr Deborah Bateson, Kathleen McNamee

About one-third of women using contraception use the pill. But how effective is it? There are two types of contraceptive pill – the combined pill, containing oestrogen and progestogen, and the progestogen-only-pill (often referred to as the mini-pill).

23 October 2019

Exhibition helps dispel myths about disability and sexuality

Samuel Leighton-Dore, SBS News

In its fifth year, Family Planning's Outing Disability exhibition aims to challenge the ongoing myths and discriminations faced by lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer (LGBTIQ+) people with a disability.

21 November 2019

The teeny contraception switch that could save you $157 a year

Edwina Carr Barraclough, Body and Soul

Over two-thirds of Aussie women of reproductive age use contraception of some sort. Add up the long-term cost, and it’s clear we're all parting with a veritable chunk of cash. Family Planning NSW's Medical Director and Clinical Associate Professor Deborah Bateson, says there's a simple switch that could collectively save Aussie women a whole lot of money.

18 November 2019

Family planning experts push for new birth control subsidies

Kate Aubusson, the Sydney Morning Herald

Family planning experts are urging the federal government to fully subsidise long-acting reversible contraception after economic modelling showed boosting its use would save millions of dollars.

14 November 2019

The health consequences of body shaming women

Kellie Scott, ABC Life

From a very young age women are taught to feel embarrassed about their body. It worsens as we reach puberty when our body and its functions begin to change — hello pimples, pubic hair and periods — and again when we become sexually active.

26 October 2019

Call for nurses to take over LARC insertions

Jocelyn Wright, AusDoc

A women's health group is calling for nurses to be allowed to claim Medicare items for the insertion and removal of long-acting reversible contraceptives, such as implants and IUDs. They say it could save patients and the government as much as $4.1 million over five years.

25 October 2019

Nurses key to birth control in Australia

Hospital and Healthcare

Creating an MBS rebate option for nurses to insert long-acting reversible contraceptives (LARCs) could be Australia's answer to birth control, new research from Family Planning NSW (FPNSW) has shown.

25 October 2019

'We need to be able to look after these women': New tele-abortion service to 'fill gap' in abortion access

Rachel Chun, the Sydney Morning Herald

A new telephone and online service will provide access to medical abortions for women across the country, in a move welcomed by Family Planning NSW.

2 October 2019

Free training will help carers, family talk about sexuality with disabled clients

The Daily Liberal

Family Planning NSW and Newcastle Permanent Charitable Foundation are partnering to deliver sexuality training and education courses for disability support workers, teachers, parents and carers.

2 August 2019

Hopes crushed, lives at risk: the true stories behind late-term abortion

Ann Brassil, Sydney Morning Herald

Abortions after 22 weeks are rare and for the few women faced with a termination at this stage, they are not something arrived at simply. I have been working in reproductive and sexual health care for decades, most recently as the chief executive officer at Family Planning NSW.

29 July 2019

Abortion is healthcare, not a crime – and at last the law will catch up

Deborah Bateson, Sydney Morning Herald

The move by cross-party politicians to overturn NSW's outdated abortion laws is a cause for celebration, action and unity. As a doctor working in reproductive and sexual health for almost 20 years, I have cared for countless women seeking an abortion following an unintended pregnancy or a devastating diagnosis for a much-wanted pregnancy.

28 May 2019

Young Australians shun condoms due to 'social norms': survey

Mary Ward, Sydney Morning Herald

Many young Australians are having sex without condoms and skipping STI checks, but researchers say peer perceptions, not a lack of information, is to blame. According to the National Debrief Survey, conducted by UNSW's Centre for Social Research in Health in 2018, 75 per cent of young Australians who had sex in the past 12 months did so without a condom at least once.

25 May 2019

Vaginal discharge is perfectly healthy. Unnecessary 'female hygiene' products are not

Olivia Willis, ABC Health & Wellbeing

Aside from being unnecessary, and in some cases, harmful, feminine care products tend to reinforce harmful ideas about vaginal discharge — that it is undesirable, if not unnatural, says Deborah Bateson.

2 May 2019

Sixty groups join pro-choice alliance to campaign for NSW abortion law reform

Lisa Martin, The Guardian

Domestic Violence NSW, the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists and Family Planning NSW are among organisations that have signed up to be a part of the pro-choice alliance.

4 April 2019

Is the diaphragm an option for women seeking non-hormonal birth control?

Edwina Storie, ABC Life

Research suggests young Australian women want to talk to their doctors about a range of contraceptive options, not just more commonly used hormonal contraceptives and condoms.

1 April 2019

HIV diagnoses up by 41% in remote and rural Indigenous populations according to new report

Douglas Smith, NITV News

A new report has medical experts demanding urgent attention be given to the "alarming" rise in rates of HIV diagnoses in Indigenous populations in the three year period between 2013 and 2016.

11 January 2019

These Doctors Have The Facts On IUD Side Effects So Please Don't Remove It Yourself

Gina Rushton, Buzzfeed News

BuzzFeed News asked five Australian reproductive healthcare specialists to respond to some of the most common concerns voiced by women in private Facebook groups. They've answered every question from mood swings and bleeding to pregnancy and fertility.

17 November 2018

Revived Zoe's Law Bill a risk to women's abortion rights, warn pro-choice groups

Michael McGowan, the Guardian

This week, the NSW Family Planning director of medical services, Dr Deb Bateson, said: "This bill is unnecessary and presents a real risk to women's reproductive rights by giving legal personhood to a foetus. This change to the law could be used to further restrict access to lawful abortions and we're worried this provision could see women who have an abortion treated as serious criminals."

28 June 2018

Are Contraceptive Apps An Effective Form of Birth Control?

Erin Cook, Elle Australia

Have you heard of Natural Cycles? It's a smartphone application that informs women when they are at their least fertile so they can have sex without protection. Dr Deborah Bateson, Director of Family Planning NSW, says "When it comes to fertility apps, they are best used to help women learn more about their reproductive cycle so they can plan pregnancy rather than to prevent it."

23 May 2018

Don't want to take a contraceptive pill every day? These are the long-acting alternatives

Doctor Deborah Bateson, The Conversation

The arrival of the pill in 1961 was pivotal in enabling women to control their fertility with a method unrelated to sex. Long-acting reversible contraception (LARC) methods add another dimension to contraceptive choice, freeing women from having to remember a pill every day.

5 February 2018

How To Choose The Right Contraceptive Method For You

Lucy Bode, Women’s Health

It's one of life's biggest annoyances: finding a method of contraception that works for both your body and lifestyle. That's why we hit up Dr Deborah Bateson from Family Planning NSW to answer all your most asked questions.

19 January 2018

Sexually transmitted infection risk for baby boomers on the prowl, Family Planning NSW study shows

Kate Aubusson, The Age

Older men getting back into the dating game are having riskier sex than younger suitors, leaving them vulnerable to sexually transmitted infections, reported the researchers at Family Planning NSW.

19 December 2017

Everything You Need To Know About The Contraceptives Creating Controversy In Australia At The Moment

Gina Rushton, Buzzfeed

Australian gynaecologists and obstetricians have this week defended long-acting reversible contraceptives (LARCS) after some users described severe side-effects they had suffered.

17 December 2017

Hormonal IUD horror stories spark concern about side-effects of contraceptive option

Ali Moore, Daily Life

Experts say that most women find IUDs to be both safe and effective. But for the small group of women who do experience harmful side effects, it is imperative that they are believed and that their concerns are taken seriously, says Dr Deborah Bateson from Family Planning NSW.

13 December 2017

Your vagina cleans itself: why vagina cleaning fads are unnecessary and harmful

Dr Deborah Bateson, The Conversation

A staggering variety of so-called feminine hygiene products seek to help with "vaginal odour" and discharge, and "keep you fresh". From deodorants to cucumber cleanses, scented "panty liners", and the newest fad "vaginal steaming". These products actively promote the view that women's vaginas should be discharge-free and either have no smell at all or exude the whiff of rose petals or vanilla pods.

28 November 2017

Your ultimate guide to choosing and using contraception

Francesca Wallace, Vogue Australia

From the pill to the implant to IUDs and well, everything in between, the options for contraception are endless. Here, Medical Director of Family Planning NSW, Dr Deborah Bateson, breaks down exactly what's what, how to use it and why it might be the best for you.

10 September 2017

Death by embarrassment. It shouldn't happen to women - but it does

Paula Goodyer, Sydney Morning Herald

"Vulval cancer is relatively rare but it happens – about 300 women are diagnosed each year – and I've seen women with quite advanced vulval cancer who've been too embarrassed to tell their doctor about symptoms. There might be a lot of explicit images of women's genitals online yet young women are often still uncomfortable about seeing a doctor, says Dr Deborah Bateson, Medical Director of Family Planning NSW.

29 August 2017

A Practical Guide To Finding A Contraceptive That Works For You

Matilda Dixon-Smith, Junkee

"People don't necessarily have all the information they need about the options for contraception," explains Dr Mary Stewart, the Senior Medical Officer in Research and Education at Family Planning NSW. "The pill is very much in people's minds when it comes to contraception in Australia."

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