Summary of COVID-19 medicines guidance: Family planning

Nancy Kane, Senior Medical Information Scientist, Regional Drug & Therapeutics CentreLast updated See all updates

This page summarises and signposts to medicine related guidance we’re aware of from professional and government bodies relating to coronavirus and family planning.

Our advice is constantly reviewed as the pandemic situation evolves.

Whilst we have tried to ensure that the information on this page is complete, please report a concern if you feel anything is omitted or inaccurate.

To see our professional guidance summaries for other clinical areas, click here

Advice in this area includes:

The Faculty of Sexual & Reproductive Healthcare of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists: Clinical advice to support provision of effective contraception during the COVID-19 outbreak

Last updated: 20th March 2020

  • Existing users of combined hormonal contraception (CHC) can receive extended treatment for 6-12 months without checking BMI /blood pressure via a remote prescription.
  • Existing users of a progesterone only pill (POP) can receive a further 12 month supply without a review. PGDs should be considered for supply by non-prescribers.
  • Women currently using Depo Provera as a method of contraception should be switched to the POP.
  • Women currently using Sayana Press as a method of contraception should continue to self-administer at home and can receive up to a 12 month supply.
  • The use of copper IUDs cannot be extended beyond their license. Women will need to use an alternative form of contraception. However there is no need to remove them unless users want to become pregnant.
  • Individuals requesting to start contraception should initially be offered a POP remotely. If a POP is not suitable second line options include a CHC or LARC method (if more suitable due to poor adherence or other teratogenic medicines).
  • Consultations for emergency oral contraception should be done remotely. Delivery of medicines would not be suitable due to risk of possible delays in treatment.

The Faculty of Sexual & Reproductive Healthcare of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists: Recommendation on extended use of the etonogestrel implant and 52mg levonorgestrel-releasing intrauterine system during COVID restrictions

Last updated: 20th March 2020

  • Replacement can be delayed for up to a year after expiry of both the etongestrel implant and 52mg levongestrel-releasing intrauterine system to avoid unnecessary risk of coronavirus transmission due to contact with healthcare professionals.
  • Etongestrel implant can be used for up to four years.
  • Levongestrel-releasing intrauterine system (52mg) can be used for up to six years.

The Faculty of Sexual & Reproductive Healthcare of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists: Information to support management of individuals requesting to discontinue contraception to plan a pregnancy during the Covid-19 outbreak

Last updated: 26th March 2020

  • Women planning a pregnancy who are currently using a LARC method of contraception will require face to face contact with a healthcare professional to have this removed.

The Faculty of Sexual & Reproductive Healthcare of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists: Position Restoration of SRH Services during Covid-19 and Beyond

Last updated: 5th June 2020

  • Guidance has been released relating to the restoration of sexual health services.
  • There are two recovery phases with information how to restart LARC, monitoring of the COC, managing the menopause as well as contraception postpartum.

The Faculty of Sexual & Reproductive Healthcare of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists: Guidance on planning for LARC procedures following the publication of the NICE COVID-19 rapid guideline

Last updated: 21st August 2020

After consideration of the NICE COVID-19 rapid guideline: arranging planned care in hospitals and diagnostic services, the FSRH have made recommendations for those working in community services undertaking LARC procedures.

The Faculty of Sexual & Reproductive Healthcare of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists: Provision of contraception during the COVID-19 pandemic

Last updated: 5th November 2020

  • Updated information from the FSRH regarding provision of contraception during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • When the risk of COVID-19 transmission is highest, and lockdown restrictions are in place, face-to-face contact may only be appropriate for fitting emergency contraception intrauterine devices (IUDs) and urgent examination. At times of lower COVID-19 prevalence, when restrictions are eased, non-urgent face-to-face procedures can take place.
  • Further method specific guidance is including in the document.

The Faculty of Sexual & Reproductive Healthcare of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists: Use of combined hormonal contraception during the Covid-19 pandemic

Last updated: 18th December 2020

  • Use of combined hormonal contraception (CHC) by eligible healthy individuals should not be restricted during the Covid-19 pandemic. CHC users should (as usual) be informed about their increased risk of thromboembolism and offered the full range of suitable alternative effective contraceptive methods.
  • Current CHC users with asymptomatic Covid-19 infection can continue to use CHC. Some may wish to make an immediate switch to a progestogen-only pill (POP) to try to reduce thrombotic risk, but increased risk of thrombosis persists for some time after stopping CHC.
  • Current CHC users with symptomatic Covid-19 infection who do not require hospital admission should be managed according to severity of illness and degree of immobility. Discontinuation of CHC and initiation of a (POP) should be considered.
  • Current CHC users requiring hospital admission because of severe Covid-19 infection should discontinue CHC. An alternative effective contraceptive method such as a POP should, where appropriate, be initiated prior to discharge from hospital.

 

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