Good news — getting birth control just got a little bit easier. The new Pharmacy First scheme will make it possible for millions of women to get their hands on birth control without the need for a prescription.
The scheme will also make medication more accessible in cases of inusitis, sore throat, earache, infected insect bite, impetigo, shingles, and uncomplicated urinary tract infections in women.
As Janet Morrison, chief executive at Community Pharmacy England said, “It makes perfect sense to use community pharmacies as a first port of call for healthcare advice, access to contraception and health checks such as blood pressure tests.”
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Of course, it’s worth remembering that the pill isn’t the only option when it comes to birth control. Many of us were passed a prescription for the pill on our first sexual health visit to the doctor and haven’t questioned it since. And why would we? The introduction of the contraceptive pill in 1961 marked the liberation of women, release from the fear of pregnancy and the ability to embrace our sexual agency.
But the fact is, medical technology has moved on and there are so many contraception alternatives out there that might be better suited to you. Including ones that have yet to hit the market, like the microneedle skin patch and the monthly pill.
Originally developed for the painless administration of vaccines, the new long-acting contraceptive is being developed with microneedle skin patch technology.
When the patch is applied for a few seconds, the microscopic needles break off and stay under the surface of the skin, where biodegradable polymers release a contraceptive drug called Levonorgestrel – a synthetic progestogen and the main component in the morning after pill.
There’s no risk of the patch falling off either, like with current contraceptive patches. You simply self-administer your patch once a month, and after five seconds, you’re good to go.
Hormonal vs. non-hormonal contraception
The microneedle skin patch isn’t the only alternative contraceptive product that could revolutionise our sex lives; the reusable condom is currently in development, too. This may appeal to those who would rather not take hormonal contraception.
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