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Combined oral contraception

In preparation for the new Pharmacy Contraception Service in England, this module runs through an assessment of contraception needs, then goes into some of the practical aspects associated with both ongoing supply and initiation of combined oral contraceptives.

Key facts

  • One in three women currently cannot access contraception from their preferred provider
  • Combined oral contraceptives (COCs) compare favourably in terms of effectiveness to other birth control methods but efficacy is reduced if not used correctly and consistently
  • Long acting reversible contraception (LARC) is more effective than COCs and less impacted by user error. Patients must be made aware of this option in consultations
  • Extra care is needed with some patient groups when it comes to establishing consent

Contributing authors: Asha Fowells MRPharmS MFRPSII, clinical pharmacy writer, with contributions from Professor Alison Blenkinsopp

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