Providing access to contraception for post-abortion women by Aly Murphy from Marie Stopes

Posted 14 Feb 2018

Date: 14 Feb 2018

Author: Alexandra (Aly) Murphy

Aly writes about her experience and why the FSRH's qualification in subdermal implants (insertion only) suits her circumstances best.

I am a member of the Faculty of Sexual and Reproductive Healthcare (FSRH) and joined Marie Stopes UK at the end of February 2017. I work at one of Marie Stopes’ UK clinics in England.

FSRH Subdermal ImageLast year, FSRH launched a new qualification that aimed to increase women’s access to post-natal and post-abortion contraception, the Letter of Competence in Subdermal Contraceptive Implant Techniques - Insertion-Only (LoC SDI-IO).

I have been approached to carry out FSRH’s Electronic Knowledge Assessment (eKA), which would allow me to complete my training for fitting contraceptive implants post-medical/surgical abortion. Having the foundation of the revision prior to the exam was very useful, as it meant all aspects of contraception were covered.

Marie Stopes UK actively canvassed for this qualification and I am proud to be the first person to receive it. We know that fertility and sex resume quickly after pregnancy. There is, therefore, a need for effective contraception for these women.

The LoC SDI-IO proved to fit my needs well, because as an abortion nurse, I would only need to be trained in fitting implants. In my role, I would never be commissioned to remove implants. This adaptation of the original LoC SDI meant that it was quicker to complete the training.

I’m proud to have this qualification because it means that, when doing consultations with patients, I find it easier to promote the benefits of the contraceptive implant to them, as I feel more involved in the process. It helps that the patient can build something of a relationship with me during their time in the Marie Stopes centre. If they have any nervousness about the actual process of fitting the implant, I can reassure them and talk them through it in detail.

The fact that I work full time also means I am always available to fit implants, if that is the contraceptive method that women have chosen. I think it’s incredibly helpful for women to be able to have their contraceptive fitted as part of their abortion aftercare and that all this can now be done in one visit, which makes women’s lives easier.

This qualification is certainly worthwhile completing and a smart adaption of the LoC SDI for specialist nurses, offering a complete service for women who need it.


This qualification complements FSRH’s existing Letter of Competence Subdermal Contraceptive Implants Techniques Insertion and Removal (LoC SDI-IR) qualification which trains clinicians on inserting and removing contraceptive implants. The qualification starts with the FSRH’s Electronic Knowledge Assessment (eKA). The remainder of the qualification is a mixture of study and clinical training delivered locally by a FSRH trainer. It is takes less time to complete than the original LoC SDI-IR as it only focuses on insertion.