Examine finds a rise in unplanned pregnancies throughout the first lockdown

There have been practically twice as many unplanned pregnancies throughout the first lockdown in comparison with earlier than, finds a serious research led by researchers from UCL and College Faculty London Hospital.

The research, revealed at the moment in BMJ Sexual and Reproductive Well being, is the primary to evaluate modifications in girls’s self-reported entry to contraception as a consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic within the UK.

The researchers analysed information from 9,784 girls, who’re all individuals of the continued Contraception and Being pregnant Examine (CAP-COVID) primarily based at UCL and UCLH. Of the 9,784 girls, 4,114 conceived pre-lockdown and 5,670 conceived post-lockdown.

General, the analysis crew discovered girls had been 9 instances extra prone to have difficulties in accessing contraception throughout the first lockdown resulting in a close to doubling within the proportion of unplanned pregnancies from 1.3% pre-lockdown to 2.1% post-lockdown The proportion of ladies reporting difficulties accessing contraception rose from 0.6% pre-lockdown to six.5% post-lockdown.

In the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, many nations, together with the UK, recognised the necessity for persevering with contraception provision and applied new practices and insurance policies to ship this.

The UK noticed a major shift to telemedicine together with distant prescription for progestogen-only tablet and mixed oral contraceptive tablet for as much as a yr in comparison with the same old 3-6 months, and lots of maternity providers additionally labored to enhance the postnatal contraception provision obtainable in hospital.

Nonetheless, we discovered that regardless of the introduction of recent insurance policies and practices by contraception and abortion service suppliers throughout the first lockdown, girls continued to report ongoing difficulties in accessing contraception resulting in a major rise within the proportion of unplanned pregnancies.”

Dr Jennifer Corridor, Senior Writer, UCL Institute for Girls’s Well being

The authors say the information is nationally consultant however they could not have captured the ladies who weren’t planning to proceed their being pregnant and subsequently the proportion of unplanned pregnancies reported within the research could also be an under-estimate.

First writer, Dr Neerujah Balachandren (Reproductive Drugs Unit at UCLH) added: “Prior analysis has pointed to a number of components which can clarify why it was more durable to entry to contraception throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

“These embrace a scarcity of readability concerning the legitimacy of making an attempt to entry Sexual and Reproductive Well being providers (SRH) throughout a pandemic, uncertainty about which SRH providers are nonetheless obtainable, restricted GP appointments, challenges to contraceptive prescribing and closure of common factors of entry to free condoms inside neighborhood settings.”

The general annual value of unplanned pregnancies in England, together with these ending in births or abortions, was estimated as £193 million in 2010 and the authors spotlight {that a} rise in unplanned pregnancies will enhance pressures on already stretched abortion and maternity providers. As well as, information launched earlier this month reveals that there have been 210,860 abortions reported in England and Wales in 2020; the very best since data started.

Unplanned births are additionally related to unfavorable social and financial outcomes for fogeys and for his or her kids.

This research was supported by a grant from the Elizabeth Garrett Anderson Hospital Charity.


College Faculty London

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