More on Europe and contraception in our Publications page

April 2019. We recently updated our Publications page to include resources from colleague organizations, focused on reproductive rights and access to contraception in Europe. This valuable references, which may be of use for your work promoting EC access in our region, can be found here:

  • European Parliament Resolution: Experiencing backlash in women’s rights and gender equality in the EU ( 2019).
  • WHO Europe: Action Plan for Sexual and Reproductive Health: Towards achieving the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in Europe – leaving no one behind.
  • European Parliamentary Forum: Limited Access: Europe’s Contraception Deficit –  A White Paper (2018).
  • Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights: Women’s sexual and reproductive health and rights in Europe (2017).

New international guidance on EC pills

January 2019. The International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics (FIGO) and the International Consortium for Emergency Contraception (ICEC), launch the 4th edition of “Emergency Contraceptive Pills: Medical and Service Delivery Guidance”.

The guidance is designed to serve as a key reference and training document for service provision. It includes a range of medical and service delivery issues in an easy to use format (from mechanisms of action, dosages, and counseling to EC pill regimens) and a two-page clinical summary available in English and Spanish.

The document can be translated and adapted as necessary to comply with national requirements. Get in touch with us if you are interested in using this guidance in your work.

In the UK: mandatory consultation with pharmacist to buy EC, put into question

 

January  2019 –  In the United Kingdom, the charity British Pregnancy Advisory Service (BPAS) published Pharmacy provision of emergency contraception: A mystery shopper study.

A consultation with the pharmacist prior to purchasing EC is still mandatory in the UK, as it is considered an important opportunity to give a woman information about all her contraception options; STI screening and any other sexual health questions she may have.

The study looks into what information is given during a consultation, in order to assess whether the value of that information offsets the additional barriers created by requiring that emergency contraception only is sold by a pharmacist following a mandatory consultation.

Based on the report findings, BPAS calls for the reclassification of levonorgestrel (LNG) EC pills, so they can be purchased directly from the shelf (what is common in countries like Sweden or the USA), and that any additional information a woman may need, be provided at her request. Download and read the full report here.

EC included in new WHO contraception Apps  

December 2018. The World Health Organization (WHO) recently launched two new Apps for healthcare providers advising women on contraception.

  • The “Humanitarian settings contraception” App, is intended for front-line health care providers to help women initiate contraception in humanitarian and emergency settings. More information here.
  • The “WHO MEC” App, will facilitate the task of family planning providers recommending safe, effective and acceptable contraception methods, for women with medical conditions or medically-relevant characteristics. More information here.

Emergency contraceptive methods (Cu-IUD, LNG EC pills, UPA EC pills and the combined regimen) are included in the “Additional information” section of both Apps. Check them out and let your colleagues know.

The EC wheel: What do you think about it?

November 14, 2018. ECEC is conducting a survey to learn more about the use, added value and shortfalls of the EC Wheel. The survey is in English and it only takes about 4 minutes to respond. If you have used the EC Wheel (either in English or French; the printed or the on-line version), we would like to hear your comments and feedback. Please complete our questionnaire here: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/CBBRWSM.
Thank you for your time and cooperation.   

Europe fails on contraception

September 30, 2018. Access to a full range of contraceptive options is a basic right.  Still, providing universal access to modern, effective and affordable contraception, in order to make sure people have choices over their reproductive lives, is not a public policy priority and remains a challenge in most European countries.

Limited Access: Europe’s Contraception Deficit. A White Paper, puts into context the findings of the 2018 Contraception Atlas, assesses access to contraception in different European countries, and makes specific recommendations to governments.

The Contraception Atlas is an original research project led by The European Parliamentary Forum on Population and Development (EPF), which looks into how European public authorities perform in different areas of contraception information and methods provision.

This document and The Contraception Atlas, are key resource for those working to increase access to all contraception methods and to make access more equitable, across our region.

 

 

World Contraception Day 2018

September 26, 2018. It is World Contraception Day (WCD) again; a day to reflect on and raise  awareness of all contraceptive methods and enable young people to make informed choices on their sexual and reproductive health.

ECEC works to make emergency contraception more equally available in Europe.  Postcoital contraception provides a second chance to prevent pregnancy after sex. Fortunately, women in most European countries have different postcoital choices directly available to us. On WCD we want to remind our community of the importance of informing women and girls of the different choices we have in postcoital contraception, so that each of us can decide what method is better for us, anytime we have a contraceptive emergency.  And on WCD we can’t forget that still today, in some European countries like Poland, access to emergency contraception is proactively restricted in order to control women´s bodies and decision making power.

We all have a lot of work to do. On WCD, and every single day.

Andorra: EC pills to be sold without prescription 

June 6, 2018. The Ministry of Health of Andorra announced today that, upon review of the current provision policies for emergency contraceptive pills (ECPs), pharmacists have been informed that prescription requirements have been lifted. Andorra currently has both LNG and UPA ECP products in the market. The safety profile of ECPs, the critical importance of facilitating timely access to the method in order to ensure efficacy, and the provision policies in place in other countries, are some of the reasons supporting this political decision.

The cost of ECPs will be covered by the Social Security System when procured with a prescription. Those under 16 will require a prescription, or parental consent.

Andorra, a landlocked microstate in the Pyrenees, with a population of about 77.000 people, is still one of the few European countries where abortion is not allowed under any circumstance. For further details, see the official communication by the Ministry of Health.

Bosnia i Herzegovina: new EC counselling tool

June 1, 2018. Partnership for Public Health translates into local language in Bosnia i Herzegovina and pre-tests the EC wheel.

This work was conducted in collaboration with the Family Physician Association of the Federation of Bosnia i Herzegovina, and the Family Physician Association of Republika Srpska, and with support from UNFPA.The local version of the wheel was produced in June 2018, and it will be used in trainings of health care providers.

Partnership for Public Health is an non-governmental organisation aimed at strengthening the role of civil society in the field of public health. Get in touch with us if you are interested in this tool or in adapting it in your country.

 

Contraception Atlas 2018

April 11, 2018. The European Parliamentary Forum on Population & Development (EPF) launches the Contraception Atlas 2018. In this second edition, the Atlas tracks government policies on a) access to contraceptive methods, b) family planning counselling and c) provision of online information on contraception, in 46 European states.

Belgium, France and the United Kingdom rank best of the 46 countries surveyed, mainly due to their general reimbursement schemes which cover a range of contraceptive supplies; their policies to improve access to contraception for young people and vulnerable groups, such as low-income women; and their excellent government supported websites on reproductive health and rights.

The Atlas is an excellent resource to put our respective countries achievements and shortfalls in context, and to build arguments and reasons to demand more and better reproductive health policies and programs. Visit https://www.contraceptioninfo.eu to learn more.

Information is power. ECEC thanks EPF for this critical work.