Unplanned pregnancies almost doubled during the blockade

During the first blockade, there were almost twice as many unplanned pregnancies as before, and a major study led by researchers at UCL and University College London Hospital was found.

Study published today BMJ Sexual and Reproductive HealthIs the first person to assess women’s self-reported changes in access. contraception As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic in the UK.

The researchers analyzed data from 9,784 women who were all participants in the ongoing Contraception and Pregnancy Study (CAP-COVID) based on UCL and UCLH. Of the 9,784 women, 4,114 became pregnant before the blockade and 5,670 became pregnant after the blockade.

Overall, the research team found that women were nine times more likely to have difficulty accessing contraception during the initial blockade, with unplanned pregnancies increasing from 1.3% before the blockade to 2.1% after the blockade. I found it to double. Access to contraception increased from 0.6% before the blockade to 6.5% after the blockade.

Senior author Dr. Jennifer Hall, UCL Institute for Women’s Health, said: “During the COVID-19 pandemic, many countries, including the United Kingdom, recognized the need to continue to provide contraception and implemented new practices and policies to achieve this.

“In the UK, we have seen a significant shift to telemedicine, along with remote prescribing of progestogen-only pills and their combinations. Oral contraceptives For up to a year compared to the usual 3-6 months, many obstetric services also worked to improve the provision of postnatal contraception available in hospitals.

“But despite the introduction of new policies and practices by contraceptive and abortion service providers during the initial blockade, women continued to report continued difficulty in accessing contraception, resulting in unplanned pregnancies. We found that the proportion increased significantly. “

The authors state that the data are nationally representative, but they may not have captured women who did not plan their continuation. pregnancy Therefore, the rate of unplanned pregnancies reported in this study may be underestimated.

Lead author Dr. Neerujah Balachandren (UCLH’s Assisted Reproductive Technology Unit) added:

“These include lack of clarity about the legitimacy of trying to access sexual and reproductive health services (SRH) during a pandemic, uncertainty about which SRH services are still available, and limited. Includes GP appointments, contraceptive prescription challenges, and regular access point closures. Release condoms within community settings. “

The overall annual cost of unplanned pregnancies in the UK, including those ending in childbirth or abortion, is estimated to be £ 193m in 2010, the authors said. Unplanned pregnancy Increased pressure on abortion already stretched, Maternity service.. In addition, data released earlier this month show that 210,860 abortions were reported in England and Wales in 2020. The best since the record started.

Unplanned childbirth is also associated with adverse social and economic consequences for parents and their children.

This study was supported by a grant from the Elizabeth Garret Anderson Hospital Charity.

Participants were grouped based on whether they became pregnant before or after the blockade, using the last menstrual day (LMP) where possible. Those who had LMP before April 1, 2020 were classified as “pre-blockade” and those who had LMP after April 1, 2020 were classified as “post-blockade”.

The official date of the first British blockade was March 23, but the authors of the study used April 1 to confirm that the post-blockade group would face restrictions on the month they imagined. bottom.

Contraceptive data “blind spots” may hide the impact of pandemics on female reproductive health

For more information:
Neerujah Balachandren et al, Impact of SARS-CoV-2 Pandemic on Contraception and Access to Pregnancy Intentions: A National Prospective Cohort Study of the British Population, BMJ Sexual & Reproductive Health (2021). DOI: 10.1136 / bmjsrh-2021-201164

Quote: Unplanned pregnancies almost doubled during lockdown (October 22, 2021), on October 22, 2021 Obtained from .html.

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Unplanned pregnancies almost doubled during the blockade

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