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Contraceptive funding welcomed

Monday, July 25, 2011

National News

A decision by PHARMAC to make a contraceptive implant available fully subsidised is a great move for New Zealand women.

“Implants have been available in New Zealand for some time, but a cost of $250 or more has put them beyond the reach of many women,” our chief executive Jackie Edmond says.

“Our hope is that the decision by PHARMAC to make the Jadelle implants available free of charge will encourage women to talk with their doctor about whether an implant might be a suitable contraceptive option for them.”

We have been advocating for a wider choice of Long Acting Reversible Contraceptive, such as an implant, to be added to the schedule of subsidised contraception for some time.

“We know they’re highly effective, once they’re in place women don’t need to remember to take a pill every day, and they work for up to five years. Women can have them removed if they decide they would like to become pregnant – fertility returns to normal soon after removal. These benefits have, until now, been beyond the reach of many women because of the high upfront costs of insertion,” Ms Edmond says.

We are so confident in the benefits of Long Acting Reversible Contraception that last year we launched our own fundraising appeal to establish a fund to provide these contraceptives at no cost to young women in need.

Around 40 young women have benefitted from the generosity of our supporters with donations being matched dollar for dollar by the organisation itself. All funds raised will be used before the subsidised implants become available.

We have 180,000 visits to our clinics each year, close to half of which are for contraception. “Effective and reliable contraception is central to good sexual and reproductive health. We are delighted to have another option for women to consider – and one for which cost won’t be an issue in their decision-making,” Ms Edmond says.

Jadelle must be inserted by a doctor trained in the insertion and removal procedures. Training for our doctors is being rolled out across the country over the next three months. Check with your nearest clinic to see when Jadelle will be available in your area

What is a Jadelle implant?

There are two implants which are small, soft, plastic rods containing a progestogen reservoir. They are inserted by a doctor under the skin of the upper arm. The progestogen is released in tiny doses and the implant is effective for five years. The implant can be removed at any time and is almost 100 per cent effective at preventing pregnancy.

How does a Jadelle implant work?

The implant works by preventing ovulation, by thickening the mucus of the cervix which prevents sperm from entering and by thinning the lining of the uterus which makes implantation of an egg less likely.

How reliable is an implant?
Implants are among the most effective contraceptive methods. When used correctly the chance of becoming pregnant is very low. During the first four years of Jadelle use, less than one pregnancy is expected per 100 women. During the fifth year the chance of pregnancy is about one in a hundred.

How much does a Jadelle cost?
If you are under 22, it costs $20 to have a Jadelle inserted.
If you have a Community Services Card it will cost $25.
If you are over 22 without a Community Services Card it will cost $42.50. The Jadelle itself is free - these costs cover supplies associated with the insertion.
These are the costs of having a Jadelle inserted at a Family Planning Clinic.

Additional costs will apply for non-New Zealand Residents.

You can find details of your nearest Family Planning Clinic here.

For more information on the Jadelle implant check out the patient information (PDF document, 16 pages, opens in new window)."

Family Planning has clinics located throughout New Zealand. Use the clinic finder to find your nearest clinic.

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