FSRH statement: World Contraception Day 2022
Date: 26 Sep 2022
Type: FSRH Press Releases and Statements
On World Contraception Day 2022, we are calling for everyone to have access to the full range of contraceptive methods as part of high quality sexual and reproductive healthcare (SRH). The FSRH Hatfield Vision, a framework to improve reproductive health outcomes, contains 6 goals focused on improving access and standards of contraceptive care. We hope to see these reflected in the Government’s upcoming SRH Action Plan.
World Contraception Day is a key moment in the year to highlight the rights of all women to choose if and when to have children. Barriers including limited funding, fragmented commissioning and workforce issues are affecting women’s ability to access contraception in a way that meets their holistic SRH needs.
It is in this context that we launched the FSRH Hatfield Vision in July, a blueprint endorsed by 29 organisations outlining what needs to be achieved to improve the health of 51% of the UK’s population. To improve access and standards of contraceptive care, we are calling for:
- Integrated Care Systems (ICS), local authorities and providers to offer the full range of contraceptive methods in the location of their choosing, with quick access to local general practice and specialist services when needed.
- Patient-centred contraception consultations, with users feeling able to openly discuss their preferences, participating in decision-making effectively, as well as being informed about possible side effects.
- Enhanced access to contraceptive care, addressing the needs of all those are the least well-served, with a particular focus on populations that experience the worst inequalities.
- Equitable access to Long-Acting Reversible Contraception (LARC) across all ICS geographies and demographics.
- Free oral emergency contraception to be available and funded in all community pharmacies across England, including to the under 25s, by 2025.
- All methods of contraception to be discussed with women during pregnancy and, where possible, their method of choice to be initiated prior to discharge from maternity services.
We also acknowledge International Safe Abortion Day is taking place on 28 September 2022. We support the right of women to access safe and legal abortion care wherever they live worldwide.
Dr Janet Barter, President of the Faculty of Sexual and Reproductive Healthcare, said:
“World Contraception Day is an important reminder that there is still much work to be done for everyone to be able to access contraception in a way that meets their needs. With the proportion of unplanned pregnancies almost doubling since the first COVID-19 lockdown, we know that contraception is proving increasingly challenging to obtain.
“The recent publication of the Women’s Health Strategy recognises that it is vital people can access the full range of contraceptive methods in a convenient way. However, we are still awaiting the SRH Action Plan outlining the steps that will be taken to achieve this.
"We hope to see the FSRH Hatfield Vision goals to improve access to contraception reflected in the SRH Action Plan, with the aim of ensuring everyone has greater control over their reproductive health.”