Family Planning Victoria along with Family Planning NT, Family Planning Tasmania, Sexual Health and Family Planning ACT, Sexual Health Quarters, Shine SA, and True Relationships & Reproductive Health have co-signed a Position Statement on LARC access during the COVID-19 pandemic.
POSITION STATEMENT Monday 6 April 2020 | LARC Access During the COVID-19 Pandemic
Extended use of and ongoing access to LARCs during the COVID-19 pandemic
Provision of contraception is essential during the COVID-19 pandemic to prevent unintended pregnancies. This is particularly important for individuals most at risk, including young people due to their high levels of fertility, people with serious health conditions, and for those who are post-abortion. Long Acting Reversible Contraceptive methods (LARCs) are more effective than shorter acting methods(1) and increased community access and uptake is associated with lower abortion rates. (2-4)
Ongoing access to LARC insertion is essential during the pandemic
Contraception is essential health care and all efforts should be made to continue the insertion of LARCs during the pandemic. To reduce the risk of infection with COVID-19, this may require different approaches to insertion such as a wearing mask during insertion of contraceptive implant or using an inserter-only approach for IUD insertion (with an assistant outside the room for emergencies).
Summary of recommendations during the pandemic
- All efforts should be made to continue access to insertion of LARCs during the pandemic, particularly for younger people, people with serious health conditions, and post-abortion
- The etonogestrel implant (Implanon NXT) can be extended off-label for use up to 4 years
- The 52mg LNG IUD (Mirena) can be extended off-label for use up to 6 years
- The 19.5mg LNG IUD (Kyleena) cannot be extended beyond 5 years
- Standard sized T shaped banded copper IUDs can be extended off-label for use up to 12 years
- 5-year copper IUDs (Load 375 and Copper T short) can be extended off-label for use up to 6 years
- Additional use of condoms and/or a contraceptive pill should be discussed with users for whom the risk of an unintended pregnancy is unacceptable during extended use