Summary of COVID-19 medicines guidance: Family planning

Nancy Kane, Senior Medical Information Scientist, Regional Drug & Therapeutics CentrePublished Last 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: 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. Includes advice on:

  • Maintaining essential contraceptive services at all times during the COVID-19 pandemic, including provision of contraception at times of higher and lower local COVID-19 prevalence and managing face-to-face contraceptive procedures
  • Method-specific advice on emergency contraception, copper IUDs, levonorgestrel IUSs, etonogestrel implants, depot medroxyprogesterone acetate, and oral contraceptives

 

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: 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.

 

The Faculty of Sexual & Reproductive Healthcare of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists: Guidance on the provision of contraception by maternity services after childbirth during the COVID-19 pandemic

Last updated: 15th February 2021

  • Information about contraception after childbirth should be offered in the antenatal period to support informed decision-making and facilitate provision of contraception by maternity services.
  • After childbirth, effective contraception should be discussed and offered prior to discharge from maternity services.
  • Maternity services with staff trained in postpartum insertion of intrauterine contraception and an etonogestrel implant (ENG-IMP) should offer insertion of a long-acting reversible contraception (LARC) device to all medically eligible women prior to discharge from maternity services.
  • Women for whom LARC is unavailable, unacceptable or unsuitable should be offered a supply (at least 6 months) of the desogestrel progestogen-only pill (POP) prior to discharge (so long as they are medically eligible).
  • If women cannot be provided with their preferred method of contraception prior to discharge from maternity services, they should be offered effective bridging contraception and information about accessing local contraceptive services.
  • Women should receive clear information about how to use their contraception and when to seek medical advice.
  • Protocols for timely offer and provision of contraception should be put in place to prevent delay in discharge from maternity services.

 

British Menopause Society / Royal College of General Practitioners / Faculty of Sexual & Reproductive Healthcare of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists / Royal College of Nursing: Joint BMS / RCOG / RCGP / RCN / FSRH framework for restoration of menopause services in response to COVID-19

Last updated: 16th April 2021

  • Advice should be provided to women on how they can access menopause consultations remotely to discuss their management options and the local pathways available for having HRT prescriptions issued or renewed.
  • HRT intake is likely to help many women control their often difficult menopausal symptoms. This is particularly relevant given the additional stress some women may be under in view of the strains of the current COVID-19 pandemic on society.
  • Prescribers can access information on the availability of HRT preparations through the BMS website where updates are provided on the current availability of HRT products.
  • Where shortages of a particular HRT preparation are experienced, consideration should be given to prescribing an equivalent alternative HRT preparation.
  • Patients should be advised that for most HRT preparations there are usually a number of equivalent alternatives that can be considered if they are unable to obtain their HRT preparation due to supply shortages.
  • Guidance on suitable equivalent HRT preparations is available on the BMS website and provides advice on alternative HRT preparations that can be considered where there is difficulty obtaining a preparation affected by the shortages.

Change history

  1. Link to BMS/FSRH/RCGP RCOG framework for restoration of menopause services updated
  1. Resources checked and information remains correct
  1. Resources checked and information remains correct
  1. Published