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Family doctors and pharmacists are calling for over-the-counter access to one of the contraceptive pills.

that you do not need a prescription to access either of the two birth control pills. This is what three medical societies have come together to support their position this Monday, which coincides with World Contraception Day. The The Spanish Society of Family and Community Pharmacy (SEFAC), Primary Care Physicians (SEMERGEN) and General and Family Physicians (SEMG) are calling for the free dispensing of progestogen-only pills in pharmacies, which have been proven to have “a very high efficacy and safety profile”, they confirm.

The signatories start from the premise that contraception “is a right that women have to plan their sexual and reproductive health”, that “it is not a pathology or a health problem”, so “it should not be considered a priori as a criterion. about medical treatment”, said Eduardo Saute, Vice President of SEFAC and coordinator of the text. “Women are the sole owners of their sexual and reproductive health, the only ones who can make decisions that are always well-informed health professionals,” added Neus Kaeles, a member of the Women’s Health Group.

According to the Spanish Society of Contraception (SEC), the aim is to “reduce access barriers” to the contraceptive, which is used by 18% of the female population, only behind the condom, which is chosen by 31% of women. The signatories believe that the prescription requirement, which countries such as the UK have already abolished, can be a “barrier” for women and believe that free access would better serve to guarantee “continuity of treatment” as a way to reduce rates. About unwanted pregnancy.

According to a recent survey, 52% of women between the ages of 18 and 45 have tried purchasing the pill without a prescription. 26% had to stop taking it because of going to the doctor, and 23.7% because they lost it or did not bring it to the pharmacy. Of the women who had to stop taking it, six in ten considered themselves to be at risk of pregnancy and one in ten had an unplanned pregnancy for this reason. “It doesn’t make sense that a woman, once she has made a contraceptive decision, has barriers to implementing it,” said Maria Blasko, coordinator of the SEMERGEN Women’s Care Group.

Medical societies have chosen to “start” this proposal with progestogen-only oral contraceptives, Desogestrel 75 micrograms. Another type of pill is the combined estrogen and progesterone pill. The former “have a higher safety profile and very mild side effects,” Keles says. The expert explains that the risk of venous thromboembolism from contraceptives, which is still lower than during pregnancy, “does not only occur with progestagen contraceptives”, which “have few contraindications and interactions”.

Pelvic and breast exams, cervical cancer screening, and sexually transmitted infection screening are not required before starting hormonal contraception and should not be used as a reason to deny access to it. It concluded that “pharmacists can effectively assess women for the safe use of these pills,” as is already the case with emergency contraception.

In fact, the signatories are obliged to distribute the medicine under the “supervision and control” of pharmacies, based on their intervention “communication and referral to the doctor if necessary”. However, the proposal supports that the pill has public funding, explained Lorenzo Armenteros, coordinator of SEMG’s women’s health group. “A container is about the price of one paracetamol. It would make sense for it to be funded by Social Security, it’s a right,” he concluded.

Source: El Diario





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