It may be difficult to see a doctor or nurse during the COVID-19 pandemic. These are the things you need to know about the longer acting contraceptives:
- Depo Provera® and Sayana Press® injections are effective as a contraceptive for 14 weeks. After this time either use condoms or a nurse/doctor may be able to issue a desogestrel progestogen-only pill (POP) that you take daily without a break. It will take two days before the POP will be effective if started after 14 weeks from the last injection. If you are taking some medication that affects how hormonal contraceptives work, eg for epilepsy, use a POP and condoms together.
- There is evidence that Nexplanon® implant is effective for 4 years of use. After this time keep the implant in place but use either condoms or a desogestrel POP as well.
- Mirena® and Levosert® intrauterine systems (IUS) are effective for 6 years. After this time keep the IUS in place but use either condoms or a desogestrel POP as well. All women over 45 years at the time of fitting can rely on these devices until age 55.
- Jaydess®IUS is effective for 3 years and Kyleena® IUS for 5 years. After this time keep the IUS in place but also use condoms or a desogestrel POP.
- If your Copper IUD is licensed to provide contraception for 10 years, there is evidence it lasts for 12 years. After this time keep the IUD in place but use condoms or a desogestrel POP. If the copper IUD is licensed for 5 years then do not have it removed but use condoms or take a desogestrel pill after this time. All IUDs fitted after the age of 40 will provide effective contraception until 55 years.
For further information on contraception, abortion and sexual and reproductive health visit the Faculty of Sexual and Reproductive Health website www.fsrh.org/how-to-access-contraception-coronavirus/
For further information about sex, social distancing and COVID-19 visit the British Association of Sexual Health and HIV website for guidance www.bashh.org/news/news/bashh-issues-guidance-on-sex-social-distancing-and-covid-19/