| 10°C Belfast

Birth control time limits relaxed amid pandemic

Doctors have been told the time limits relating to a number of birth control methods can be relaxed amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The Faculty of Sexual and Reproductive Medicine has advised hospital doctors across the UK to inform patients of the changes as the majority of consultations are now being done by telephone.

The professional body has issued guidance to family planning doctors, stating: "Replacement procedures for long-acting reversible contraceptive devices that have recently expired are non-essential.

"The available evidence suggests that the risk of pregnancy in the fourth year of use of the etonogestrel implant (ENG-IMP) and the sixth year of use of a 52mg levonorgestrel-releasing intrauterine system (LNG-IUS) is likely to be very low."

Under normal circumstances the implant, known as Nexplanon, is changed every three years, while the intrauterine system, known as the Mirena coil, is changed after five years.

Belfast Telegraph