The use and access to contraception in Sweden during the COVID-19 pandemic period.

Envall N, Gemzell Danielsson K, Kopp Kallner H

Eur J Contracept Reprod Health Care 28 (5) 275-281 [2023-10-00; online 2023-10-30]

Explore perceived access to, the need for, use of, and satisfaction with telemedicine services for contraceptive counselling and prescription-renewal-only during the COVID-19 pandemic, and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic period on the choice and use of contraceptives. Internet-based e-survey of Swedish women of fertile age, 16-49 years. In total, 1016 participants completed the survey. Most participants (69.7%) rated their access to contraceptive services 'as usual'. Among the remaining participants, a higher proportion rated their access as deteriorated (73.4%) compared to improved (26.6%; p < 0.001). In total, 38.0% reported a need for contraceptive counselling, whereof 14.0% had used telemedicine for counselling and reported high satisfaction. Telemedicine for prescription-renewal-only was used by 15.1% of the total population. Two per cent reported use of another contraceptive than their intended, whereof long-acting reversible contraceptives were the most common intended method. The proportion of current contraceptive users was lower than in 2017 (62.4% vs 71.1%, p < 0.001), and current users of long-acting reversible contraception decreased from 30.6% to 19.3% (p < 0.001). During the COVID-19 pandemic period, most women found their access to contraceptive services unaffected, but more women felt that it had deteriorated than improved. The use of telemedicine was low, and the use of contraception overall fell. Efforts are needed to raise awareness of available services, and TM-provided interventions for maintained quality of care and informed decision-making remain to be evaluated.SHORT CONDENSATIONThe COVID-19 period imposed a change in contraceptive service provision, and efforts are needed to raise awareness of available services, including telemedicine. Access to all contraceptives, including LARCs, is crucial and telemedicine-provided interventions need evaluation.

Category: Social Science & Humanities

Type: Journal article

PubMed 37902288

DOI 10.1080/13625187.2023.2260516

Crossref 10.1080/13625187.2023.2260516

Publications 9.5.0