Well Woman Say Use Of Sexual Health Services Falling

Fewer women have attended sexual health services since the morning-after pill has been on sale over the counter, the Well Woman centre has said.

According to the centre just 800 women went for emergency contraception last year, compared with an average of 4,000 in previous years.

Alison Begas, Well Woman chief executive, said the availability of emergency contraception direct from pharmacies since February 2011, instead of needing a prescription from a doctor, has had a big impact on services.

“It’s extremely important - from an affordability and equity point of view - that women are now able to get this very safe medication directly from their community pharmacy,” Ms Begas said.

“However, as a healthcare provider, Well Woman would like to see a stronger connection between accessing emergency contraception and a programme of holistic sexual healthcare.

“It has been our experience that emergency contraception appointments have acted as a woman’s first route into sexual health services.

“This entry point is effectively no longer there with over-the-counter availability of emergency contraception.”


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