Services see increase in contraceptive requests during COVID-19 pandemic

Virginia

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NORTHERN VIRGINIA (WDVM) — A post-pandemic baby bust? Requests for birth control have risen significantly during COVID-19, and the demand is causing ‘contraceptive deserts.’ 

Dr. Julie Graves, Assistant Director of Clinical Services at Nurx, said that an increase in birth control requests has gone up 50% since the pandemic began. To accommodate all the requests and to keep patients safe, telemedicine has been on the rise. 

“Patients were finding it almost impossible to get an appointment with their primary care provider or their OB/GYN because the country was focused on the pandemic,” said Graves.

The influx has also caused ‘contraceptive deserts’, or areas of the country where patients are having difficulty obtaining contraceptives. These occur in areas where it may be difficult to find a pharmacy that provides birth control, or in dense cities where lack of transportation makes it difficult to obtain birth-control pills.

Graves says that the increase in birth control requests is due to women wanting to avoid seeing doctors in-person during COVID-19 and to avoid the complications of pregnancy during a pandemic. 

“They’re concerned about exposing their other children after they come home from a prenatal care visit, they’re concerned about having a baby in a hospital where there’s COVID,” said Graves. 

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