The UK is currently facing a national shortage of some of the more popular contraceptive pills.
GPs are being left with no choice but to prescribe women with alternatives.
Problems in the manufacturing process have been blamed for the shortage, which has left the likes of Cilest and Loestrin in short supply.
The British Pregnancy Advisory Service (BPAS) has described the news as “concerning”.
Janssen, which supplies Cilest, is said to have discontinued the pill for “commercial reasons” in July. The company has exited the oral hormonal contraceptive market and insists it’s not because of “safety, efficacy or quality issues with the product”.
Galen, which supplies Loestrin, says it has “no anticipated resupply date” for the pill, which has been unavailable since June.
Taking a new pill can cause a host of issues, including headaches, nausea, breast tenderness and mood swings, according to the NHS.
This lack of information is leaving millions of women to seek alternative contraceptive pills and potentially suffer the consequences that arise when starting a new pill.
“It can take a long time for women to find the method that is right for them. Evidence shows that when contraception is more difficult to access, unplanned pregnancies can result. We advise all women to speak with their GP or healthcare professional to find a suitable alternative.” Katherine O’Brien from BPAS said.
Some women have reported only knowing about the shortage after turning up to collect their prescription only to be told of the problem.
It can be hard enough to find a contraceptive pill to suit your body, without these unexpected problems arising.
Let’s hope for a quick resolution.