SHINE SA media release: CONTRACEPTION IS ESSENTIAL IN PREVENTING RISE IN UNINTENDED PREGNANCY DURING COVID-19

SHINE SA Media Release: 2 April 2020

Sexual and reproductive health must remain at the forefront of our minds during the COVID-19 pandemic. It is possible that throughout this crisis we may see a rise in unintended pregnancy as well as incidences of domestic violence, sexual violence and sexual coercion.  Unfortunately this could come at a time where our health systems are focused on the prevention and management of the pandemic itself. In addition to general sexual health services, access to pregnancy options including abortion may be impacted over the next 6 months.

Unintended pregnancy rates are already high in Australia. It is estimated that half of all pregnancies are unplanned. It is possible that self-isolation/quarantine measures could see an increase in unprotected sexual activity without reliable forms of contraception. These circumstances may contribute to unintended pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections in an environment where support systems and personal wellbeing have been affected.

SHINE SA asks that people consider all of their contraceptive choices at this time. This includes long-acting reversible contraception (LARC) options, especially if they do not wish to become pregnant in the near future. These options can be discussed with a general practitioner.

It’s also important that people are aware that they can access the emergency contraceptive pill (ECP) from community pharmacies. Oral emergency contraception is effective up to 120 hours after unprotected sex but the sooner it is taken, the greater the effectiveness.

  • South Australians looking for advice on any sexual health issue including contraception and unintended pregnancy can call SHINE SA’s Sexual Healthline.
    This is a free and confidential service provided by SHINE SA’s sexual health nurses. Call: 1300 883 793; Toll free: 1800 188 171 (country callers only).
    The Sexual Healthline is open Monday – Friday, 9:00 am – 12:30pm.
  • Australians can also call 1800 RESPECT, the national sexual assault, domestic and family violence counselling and information referral service. This service is available 24 hours a day, every day of the year. Yarrow Place Rape and Sexual Assault Service is a South Australian service for anyone who has been sexually assaulted. Call 8226 8777 or visit the Yarrow Place website for more information.
  • Visit the SHINE SA website for more information on Emergency ContraceptionChoices in Contraception and Safer Sex.
  • Download this Media Release.

Disability Support Toolkit for frontline workers – violence and abuse

1800RESPECT, March 2020

The Disability Support Toolkit has resources for front line workers supporting people with disability who have been impacted by violence and abuse.

People with disability are 1.8 times more likely to experience violence and abuse, including more varied forms of abuse. (Source: AIHW Report 2019.) They are also less likely, and take longer to reach out for support.

This Toolkit includes:

  • Research paper on best practice to implement the disability toolkit
  • Videos to share with clients on how to contact the 1800RESPECT service and how the service works
  • Easy English booklets that can be downloaded or ordered free from 1800RESPECT.

This Toolkit can be used in conjunction with information provided on our website on Inclusive Practice: Supporting people with disability.

‘Putting it into practice’ Guidelines

The ‘Putting it into Practice’ guidelines are a resource to support access and inclusion. The guidelines provide information on:

  • General principles
  • Engaging women with disabilities, including language
  • Using specialist resources

 

  • Download the guidelines in Word or PDF.

Scope Videos

This set of 3 videos were co-developed by Scope and 1800RESPECT. They are designed to be viewed by people with disability, and include information on how to contact 1800RESPECT, and how the service works.

  • Watch the videos here

Easy English booklets

The Easy English booklets have been developed as part of the Disability Pathways Project and with Women with Disabilities Australia. They are evidence based, user group tested and easy to use.

Sunny app

Sunny is 1800RESPECT’s app for women with disability who have experienced violence and abuse. Sunny has been co-designed with women with disability to make sure it provides the very best support for the people who use it. Learn more about Sunny. Sunny is free to download and is free to use on your phone.

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COVID-19: A Gender Lens – sexual & reproductive health and gender inequality

UN Population Fund (UNFPA), March 2020

Disease outbreaks affect women and men differently, and pandemics make existing inequalities for women and girls and discrimination of other marginalized groups such as persons with disabilities and those in extreme poverty, worse. This needs to be considered, given the different impacts surrounding detection and access to treatment for women and men.

Women represent 70 percent of the health and social sector workforce globally and special attention should be given to how their work environment may expose them to discrimination, as well as thinking about their sexual and reproductive health and psychosocial needs as frontline health workers

The sex lives of young women marked by frustration, stress, guilt and embarrassment

Monash University, 24 Feb 2020

Professor Susan Davis, a leading Monash University expert on women’s health, admits it was a highly ambitious project: minutely studying the sexual wellbeing of 7000 young Australian women with particular focus on complicated, intimate ideas such as desire, arousal, orgasm, responsiveness and self-esteem.

Now that it’s done (and published this week in the international journal Fertility and Sterility), she’s “very concerned.” The main finding is that half of the women studied experience personal “distress” related to sex. One in five has at least one sexual dysfunction. “Young” means aged 18 to 39. The concern, she says, is because “sexual wellbeing is recognised as a fundamental human right”.

“This is a wake-up call to the community,” she says. “This is what we [society] are doing to people. We expected to find that a meaningful number of young women had sexual issues, but we were not expecting to find half were distressed sexually.”

A sex-positive approach in Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights programming for youth

The International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF), February 2020

IPPF have created the new resource pack: A sex-positive approach in Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights programming for youth.

Please start with opening the toolkit which provides additional guidelines on how to use the resources. The toolkit is interlinked with the videos and the presentation hence going through the manual will navigate you through all materials available.

 

New Videos for Clinicians – Syphilis: Symptoms, Serology, and Treatment

SHINE SA, 14/02/2020

SHINE SA have released two new short videos that provide advice for clinicians on syphilis symptoms and treatment. This resource expands on our syphilis overview for clinicians. 

The videos are presented by Sexual Health Physician Dr Carole Khaw, and cover the topics of signs, symptoms and stages as well as serology and treatment.

With an increase in syphilis cases in South Australia it is important that health professionals understand how to identify and treat syphilis.

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