Sexual and reproductive health a COVID-19 priority (Statement)

Burnet Institute, 28 May, 2020

Burnet Institute is a member of a consortium of Australian-based non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and academic institutes concerned about the detrimental effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the sexual and reproductive health and rights of women and girls globally.

The International Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights Consortium, which includes Save the Children, Family Planning NSW, CARE Australia, The Nossal Institute for Global Health, and Médecins Sans Frontières Australia, is calling on the Australian Government to prioritise the needs of women and girls in its response to COVID-19.

Collectively, the consortium works across 160 countries to champion universal access to sexual and reproductive health and rights.

It’s concerned that women and girls across the globe are struggling to access critical sexual and reproductive health care, citing evidence that COVID-19 lockdowns are likely to cause millions of unplanned pregnancies.

In the Pacific, travel to rural and remote areas have been curtailed, and physical distancing requirements have forced the cancellation of most group training on sexual and reproductive rights.

A recent UNFPA report determined that a six-month lockdown could mean 47 million women and girls globally cannot access contraception, and seven million will become pregnant.

The consortium has issued a joint statement setting out priorities to ensure Australia’s global response to COVID-19 meets the critical needs of all women and girls, including:

  • Recognise and respond to the gendered impacts of the pandemic, and the increased risk to women and girls from gender-based violence and other harmful practices
  • Improve the supply of contraceptives and menstrual health products which are being impacted by the strain and disruption on global supply chains
  • Increase flexibility in delivering sexual and reproductive health services during lockdown using innovative health delivery models such as task-sharing, tele-health and pharmacy distribution
  • Support sexual and reproductive health workers and clinics to continue delivering services sagely with access to personal protective equipment as well as training on how to refer, test or diagnose COVID-19.

 

More than half of fertility and period-tracker apps ineffective at predicting ovulation, study finds

ABC Health & Wellbeing,  17/09/2019

An Australian study of the most downloaded fertility apps has found over half didn’t perform well at predicting ovulation — which is exactly what many users are using these apps for.

The findings, by researchers at Eve Health Fertility in Brisbane in conjunction with Queensland Fertility Group, were presented at a Fertility Society of Australia conference this week in Hobart.

New Bacterial Vaginosis Fact Sheet

SHINE SA, May 2019

SHINE SA has recently produced a bacterial vaginosis fact sheet. 

Bacterial vaginosis (BV) is a condition where there are too many of a certain type of bacteria in the vagina. Bacteria which are normally present in small numbers can sometimes overgrow, causing bacterial vaginosis.

Bacterial vaginosis is not a sexually transmitted infection. Bacterial vaginosis can occur when conditions in the vagina change and upset the normal balance of bacteria. It can be associated with new or increased sexual activity or with other changes such as menstruation or sexually transmitted infections.

Red Book: STI & BBV resources for sex workers by sex workers

Scarlet Alliance, 2018 online edition

This web resource is a community driven project, which has incorporated the efforts of sex workers, peer educators, sex worker organisations, community organisations and health professionals across Australia. It is made by sex workers, for sex workers.

Much of the content builds on The Scarlet Alliance STI Handbook: A Reference Guide for Sex Workers to Sexually Transmissible Infection [Red Book (2009)]. Red Book is a sex worker resource by and for sex workers that was first developed in 1998 with updates in 2003 and 2009. Many sex workers would be familiar with the pocket sized Red Book that sex worker organisations have been handing out on outreach to sex worker workplaces for many years.

Sex worker resources by and for sex workers is best practice in assisting sex workers in implementing harm reduction strategies in our workplaces. The STI and BBV information provided has been checked by medical professionals and all content has gone through various consultation processes with sex workers to ensure the content in Red Book is accurate, relevant and reflects our diverse experiences, identities, contexts and needs.

Contents:

Students could learn about endometriosis as part of sex education

Guardian Australia, 

Teaching schoolchildren about pelvic pain will form part of a proposed national plan to tackle endometriosis, the debilitating condition that affects hundreds of thousands of women.

The health minister, Greg Hunt, will push the states and territories to commit to the plan, which was discussed at Friday’s Council of Australian Governments [Coag] meeting in Sydney. The draft plan is being developed in collaboration with a coalition of endometriosis advocacy and research organisations.

New sexual health videos in English, Arabic, Karen and Punjab

Health Translations Directory (Victorian Government of Australia), February  2018
Health Translations Directory has now added some new audiovisual files in English, Arabic, Karen and Punjab, developed by Family Planning Victoria. These are part of a series of videos about periods, pregnancy and contraception, for newly arrived migrant and refugee women in Australia.

The videos provide general information.lease speak to a health professional for appropriate individual advice.

(Note: These links may not work in all browsers – Internet explorer/Edge recommended)