Reports from women’s health experts have stated that more contraception options should be available without a GP consultation.
The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) stated that the progestogen contraceptive pill and morning after pill should be easily accessible for women by providing them similarly to condoms.
In England, to be issued with any contraceptive pill, women need to have a consultation with a GP or nurse to discuss their possible options.
Courtney Haggerty, a bar manager at Lower Kersal Social Club in Salford, was taking the Rigevidon contraceptive pill for a week whilst she was on holiday.
The 23-year old noticed that she was feeling unwell and had several consultations at Salford Royal Hospital once she arrived back in the UK.
After several tests, doctors found that she had a large blood clot in her lungs due to the use of the Rigevidon pill and was issued with blood thinners.
She said: “I don’t think any pill should be available to buy just like that. When people buy stuff like that, they don’t read the terms and conditions or how to take it.
“You need to go and see your GP, you need to have regular tests just to see if you have any symptoms.”
Courtney advised that women taking any contraception should be aware of what they are putting into their body.
She said: “I’m quite lucky to be sat here and say this is what it did to me. I would advise to make sure you’re aware of the risks that you can put your body through.”
Penny Cook, professor for public health at The University of Salford thought that the reports from RCOG should be considered.
She said: “I think those recommendations [made by the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists] are on the basis of good evidence of the safety of the drug and, also the risks of not letting women have good access to it.
“The progestogen only pill has got a long record of being very safe to use. I think it’s always better if someone can go and have an informed conversation with their GP. It might not be the best contraception for them.”
Penny suggested that a long active reversible contraception (LARC) like the depo-injection may be better suited for some women.
For information about the progestogen only contraceptive pill, visit https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/contraception/the-pill-progestogen-only/