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Better access to long acting reversible contraceptive methods important for women’s health

Women need better access to long acting reversible contraceptive (LARCs) methods to prevent unplanned pregnancy as part of comprehensive health care.

“LARCs provide great contraception that don’t require you to do anything to prevent pregnancy every day or every time that you have sex,” said Dr Deborah Bateson, Medical Director of Family Planning NSW.

“They are than 99% effective in preventing pregnancy. There is also a rapid return to usual fertility as soon as the LARC is removed.”

“Using condoms also can prevent pregnancy, but importantly is highly effective at reducing the spread of sexually transmitted infections.”

World Contraception Day, held each year on 26 September, is an international day that highlights the importance of family planning to women’s health throughout their lives.

“Our research shows that there is significant economic benefit from the increased adoption of LARCs as a regular contraceptive choice in Australia,” said Dr Bateson. “Conservatively, contraceptive costs would be reduced by $68m over five years by switching from using the pill to LARCs. The total value of avoided unplanned pregnancies if just 14.8% of women of pregnancy age switched to using LARCs is $4.8m."

“But Australia is lagging behind the rest of the developed world when it comes to contraception –we haven’t caught on to the many other safe and effective options on the market, such as LARCs.”

Family Planning NSW supports the consensus statement from the Australian Healthcare and Hospitals Association (AHHA) about LARCs.

“We share with the AHHA the concerns about access to LARCs for women in Australia, particularly the lack of knowledge about them and the financial barriers,” said Dr Bateson.

“Family Planning NSW supports calls to increase the rebates available for clinicians to insert LARCs and for more training to be available. Nurses, midwives and nurse practitioners need to be more involved in LARC procedures.”

More information:
El Gibbs, Media and Communications Manager
0402 880 653     media@fpnsw.org.au


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