Effect of the Covid pandemic on progestin-only and oestrogen -containing Contraceptive Prescribing in General Practice: a Retrospective Analysis of English Prescribing Data

Walker, Susan (2022) Effect of the Covid pandemic on progestin-only and oestrogen -containing Contraceptive Prescribing in General Practice: a Retrospective Analysis of English Prescribing Data. European Journal of Contraception and Reproductive Health Care. ISSN 1473-0782

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1080/13625187.2022.2045935

Abstract

Objectives- This paper looks at how trends in contraceptive prescribing by General Practices in England were affected by the Covid pandemic and lockdown. It compares English prescribing data from May 2014 to May 2021, including the period of ‘lockdown’, from April 20-June 20. Design & Setting- A retrospective analysis of the English Prescribing Dataset which reports monthly on prescribed items from English General Practices was carried out. Data on all forms of prescribed contraceptive methods were extracted using British National Formulary (BNF) codes, and total quantities tabulated by method, then transformed into ‘months of contraception provided’ by each method. Results- Prescription of the combined oral contraceptive pill reduced by 22% during the period of lockdown compared to the same three months in 2019. Prescriptions of Progestogen-Only pills remained stable. This continued a trend in oral contraceptive prescribing evident from May14. Prescription of long-acting methods reduced during the period of lockdown, with the greatest reductions in implants (76% reduction from pre-lockdown levels), intra-uterine systems (79% reduction from pre-lockdown levels) and intrauterine devices (76% reduction from pre-lockdown levels). These rates of contraceptive provision recovered quickly after the period of lockdown ended. Conclusions- The disruption of face-to-face contraceptive consultations in General Practice during a Covid-19 ‘lockdown’ has resulted in a reduction in oestrogen –containing methods compared to progestogen-only methods, which require less face-to-face monitoring. Implant and intrauterine contraceptive device prescription reduced by three quarters over the first three months of lockdown, but rebounded in the next year.

Item Type: Journal Article
Keywords: Contraception, COVID-19, General practice, England, Prescriptions
Faculty: COVID-19 Research Collection
Faculty of Health, Education, Medicine & Social Care
SWORD Depositor: Symplectic User
Depositing User: Symplectic User
Date Deposited: 28 Feb 2022 12:23
Last Modified: 05 Apr 2022 13:22
URI: https://arro.anglia.ac.uk/id/eprint/707355

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