Online platforms for prescription and supply of hormonal contraception in Australia: A mapping review

Tahlee B. Stevenson, Alice Rumbold, Emily Callander, Pip Buckingham, Anisa Assifi, Danielle Mazza, Luke E. Grzeskowiak

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
5 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Online platforms have emerged as a convenient way for individuals to access contraception. However, the extent to which such services exist in Australia and how they operate is currently unknown. We aimed to identify Australian online contraception platforms and evaluate the services they provide to determine the degree to which they may facilitate equitable access to contraception. We conducted an internet search to identify online contraception platforms operating in Australia. Data were extracted from each of the platforms relating to operating policies, services provided and associated payment processes, as well as prescribing and screening processes for assessing user suitability. As of July 2022, eight online contraception platforms operating within Australia were identified. All platforms offered oral contraception, with two also offering the vaginal ring, and one emergency oral contraception. None of the platforms provided access to long-Acting reversible contraception. Significant variability existed in product and membership costs across platforms, with only one platform providing access to subsidised medicines. Five platforms restricted services to those already using oral contraception. Overall, online questionnaires were deemed to be adequately screening for important contraindications to using oral contraception. While online contraception platforms may be a valuable option for some individuals who face access barriers and are willing to pay out-of-pocket for to have their contraception sent straight to their home, they do not necessarily ensure that individuals can access their contraceptive method of choice or address recognised financial and structural barriers to contraceptive care.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)273-281
Number of pages9
JournalSexual Health
Volume20
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished or Issued - 4 Apr 2023

Keywords

  • contraception access
  • emergency contraceptive pill
  • hormonal contraception
  • online prescriber
  • online provider
  • oral contraception
  • reproductive autonomy
  • telemedicine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

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