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Contraception shortage 'causing utter chaos'

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A shortage of contraception is causing chaos and risks unplanned pregnancies and abortions, doctors are warning.

Leading sexual health experts have written to ministers warning that the supply shortage of contraceptives is beginning to lead to serious problems across the UK.

A number of daily pills and a long-acting injectable contraceptive are thought to be affected, including Noriday, Norimin and Synphase. The problem follows a shortage of hormone replacement therapy for menopausal women last year.

It is unclear how many women use these types of contraception - overall around three million women take daily pills, and more than 500,000 use long-acting contraception, such as coils, implants and injections.

The Royal College of GPs said its members were doing their best to help women find alternatives - there are many different types of daily pill available.

Faculty president Dr Asha Kasliwal said; "We are aware that women are sent away with prescriptions for unavailable products and end up lost in a system. This is causing utter chaos."

The faculty has teamed up with the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists and the British Menopause Society to write to ministers, asking them to set up a working group to address the problems. The letter warns women are becoming distressed by having to find alternative products that might not necessarily suit them or go without contraception altogether.

It said this was affecting the "physical and mental wellbeing of girls and women" and could lead to a "rise in unplanned pregnancies and abortions".

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Source: BBC News, 7 February 2020

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