In the media

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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