Experts have warned that a national shortage of birth control pills can lead to a wave of unplanned pregnancies.
Women struggle to get hold of various common birth control pills, such as Lestrin and Cilest.
Leading brands have confirmed that there are problems in the production process – but have indicated little when this will be resolved.
Experts have shown that the lack of supply has become increasingly worse in recent months and described it as a & # 39; very worrying & # 39 ;.
GPs are advised to offer an alternative medicine, but this can cause side effects and has meant that women have to make more appointments.
Experts have warned that a national shortage of birth control pills can lead to a wave of unwanted pregnancies
The inadequate supply of contraception is due to a shortage of HRT drugs – to treat menopause symptoms – which reached a crisis point last week.
About 3.1 million British women use a contraceptive pill.
Loestrin has been out of stock since June and there is & # 39; no expected delivery date & # 39 ;, says Galen, who delivers it.
Cilest, supplied by Janssen, was released in July at & # 39; commercial & # 39; reasons stopped.
Professor Helen Stokes-Lampard of the Royal College of GPs: & # 39; The shortage of oral contraceptives has increased considerably in recent months.
& # 39; This is very worrying for both general practitioners and patients … It is not entirely clear why we currently have deficits.
& # 39; It seems that there are several factors – and we do not know how long the shortages will last. & # 39;
She added that it adds for general practitioners, & # 39; because searching for suitable alternatives is very time-consuming & # 39 ;.
& # 39; It's also awkward and can be painful for patients if they don't get the treatments they're used to & # 39 ;, said Professor Stokes-Lampard.
The British Pregnancy Advisory Service (BPAS) said that if women cannot get their pill, this can lead to an increase in pregnancies.
Katherine O & # 39; Brien, of BPAS, described the deficit as & # 39; worrying & # 39 ;. She said The sun: & # 39; It may take a long time for women to find the right method.
WHAT CONTRACEPTIVE PILLS ARE SOLD OUT?
- Loestrin – not in stock without expected delivery date
- Noriday and Norimin deliveries of both products are expected to be available from September 2019
- Cilest – no longer available from July 2019
- Ovranette – not in stock from June – late August 2019
- Microgynon 30 ED, Leandra and Maexeni – currently available but supplier cannot support additional demand
The Department of Health and Social Care provides: & # 39; Several other oral contraceptives remain available, including Microgynon, Yasmin, Logynon, Marvelon, Qlaira, Femodene, Millinette, GedareL, Rigevidon, TriRegol, Synphase. & # 39;
& # 39; There is evidence that when birth control is more difficult to access, unplanned pregnancies can occur. & # 39;
Even missing one pill can have consequences, especially if it is at the end or the beginning of a cycle.
Karin O & # 39; Sullivan, clinical consultant at the Family Planning Association, told MailOnline earlier that it & # 39; wakes up the ovaries & # 39; and that they can ovulate.
BPAS advises women to talk to their doctor to find a suitable alternative to their usual pill – normally one that has the same hormones.
This can be worrying for women who have tried different methods of contraception and have chosen a brand that suits them without side effects.
The other option is to start a completely different method of contraception – such as the copper coil, implant or mini pill – all of which have potential side effects, including headache, nausea and mood swings.
Brands advise GPs to be careful when changing pills because some alternative suppliers cannot support demand.
Bayer has told the Ministry of Health and Social Care that Ovranette, a combined hormone contraceptive, is expected to be sold out until August.
A few alternatives have said they will not be able to fill the gaps, including Microgynon 30 ED, supplied by Bayer, Leandra, supplied by MedRx, and Maexeni, supplied by Lupine.
Many female patients have revealed that they have only received a prescription to find out that their pill is out of stock when they go to collect it at the pharmacy.
General practitioners may not be aware of the deficits and will continue to prescribe pills that are not available, which may irritate patients.
Moya Crockett, a contributing editor at Stylist, explained the & # 39; contraceptive admin & # 39; that women have experienced in recent months.
In response to her tweet, who has now gone viral, thousands of women expressed their anger about & # 39; a wild goose hunt & # 39; to get the pill.
With the waiting times of the GP at a record level, women are forced to pay the full price at pharmacies such as Superdrug.
Women on Loestrin must split £ 30 for a six-month supply of Superdrug Online Doctor, or £ 25 for Ovranette.
Dr. Anne Connolly, from Primary Care Women & # 39; s Health Forum, warned that a lack of birth control is more & # 39; high risk & # 39; is then HST medication because of the risk of unwanted pregnancies.
She said: & # 39; If you can't get HRT, it can be unpleasant, but if women don't find a contraceptive that suits them, it can lead to unwanted pregnancies.
& # 39; At this stage it is not clear how much of a problem this will be or when it may end.
The DHSC said: & We are aware that there are supply problems that affect a small number of oral contraceptive pills due to production delays.
& # 39; We work closely with the suppliers involved to resolve these issues as quickly as possible.
& # 39; Stocks of various other oral contraceptives are freely available and affected patients should discuss alternative options with their doctor or pharmacist as soon as possible. & # 39;
HRT CRISIS REQUIRING WOMEN TO TREAT ABROAD
Women are forced to buy HST drugs from abroad because it is now almost impossible to get to Britain.
The deficits have been going on for months, but this week reached the & # 39; crisis point & # 39; because most Evorel patches – the British market leader – disappeared from the shelves.
Many alternatives were already out of stock and the two most important pharmaceutical wholesalers have all commonly prescribed HRT patches on, according to an Daily Mail audit.
Manufacturers are rationing their small inventory with the support of the Ministry of Health, which has been slammed because of the & # 39; disastrous & # 39; approach to the crisis.
Some women have bought boxes for their friends from pharmacies during their vacation in Spain. One patient even transported air cargo HST from South Africa.
Approximately two-thirds of HRT treatments have been affected by shortages. They include Evorel and Elleste, the two most popular brands, which are prescribed to more than 100,000 women a year – more than half of those undergoing treatment.
More than half of women with HRT receive patches that are applied below the waist once or twice a week.
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