Manchester Pharmacy give away 1,000s of condoms for Sexual Health Week
Sexual Health Week began on Monday, running until the 21 September, and this year the focus is on emergency contraception. The week-long campaign is one that has been proudly supported by Medical Specialists® Pharmacy for a number of years and indeed this year is no different. Run by the FPA (Family Planning Association) throughout England, Sexual Health Week is an annual health awareness event that aims to boost public understanding about the numerous sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and about all aspects of good sexual health in general. Just like in previous years, Medical Specialists® are helping to support the campaign by giving away literally thousands of Skins Condoms to any patient who obtains sexual health products during the forthcoming week, such erectile dysfunction or premature ejaculation treatment, a Clamelle chlamydia test kit, or emergency contraception like the Levonelle 1500 morning after pill. Last year the spotlight was the XES We can’t go backwards campaign, the aims of which were to protect and promote sexual health and contraception services by fighting governmental budget cuts, policy changes, and more specifically the lack of easy access to contraception and sexual health services. For 2014’s Sexual Health Week, the focus has shifted to emergency contraceptives, i.e. that awkward and frightening time…the morning after the night before when the couple possibly in the heat of the moment haven’t bothered to use a condom and/or other contraception might have failed. For the event, the FPA recently conducted a survey involving more than 2,000 women throughout the UK to discover more about the myths that still exist with regards to emergency contraception and found that alarmingly, many women still are not using emergency contraception following unprotected sex or if their usual contraceptive method hasn’t worked. As mentioned earlier, emergency contraceptive pills include Levonelle 1500, which if taken within three days (72 hours) of unprotected sex, will usually prevent pregnancy. However, women will need to speak to their doctor for more information about taking it within five days (120 hours) of having unprotected sex. Levonelle 1500 contains a hormone called progestogen can be taken following unprotected sex or if a condom has accidentally come off or split , and is available right now from Medical Specialists® Pharmacy for just £22.50. Most women are eligible to take Levonelle but will need advice if prescribed certain medications, with the IUD potentially being more suited. An emergency IUD is a tiny, plastic copper device placed into the uterus up to five days (120 hours) following unprotected sex, or within five days of the earliest time the woman may have released an egg. The downside is that it usually takes around 20 minutes to be fitted and can be uncomfortable for the woman to the extent a local anaesthetic may be required. Alternatively, women can take ellaOne. This is a pill that contains ulipristal acetate and has to be taken within five days (120 hours) of having unprotected sex. Most women can take ellaOne but those with severe asthma, liver disease, or taking certain prescribed medicines or complementary medicines, may be more suitable for the emergency IUD. The FPA have created a Sexual Health Week 2014 campaign pack comprising of posters and tons of useful information and advice about how health professionals can best discuss emergency contraception with patients. Women should be aware that it is not an embarrassing thing having to request emergency contraception, it is a sign of being responsible, and the FPA and Medical Specialists® hope that more women feel confident and at ease enough to speak to their GP or local pharmacy about the different types of contraception suitable for them. For further information you can go to Medical Specialists® website and contact our pharmacist by email, or visit the FPA website for more information about sexual health and services.