INTRODUCTION: Pharmacists have extended opening hours and are located in communities. Many offer sexual and reproductive health services such as emergency contraception. The opportunity to receive injectable contraception from community pharmacists would improve availability of this method and might increase uptake and continuation. A self-administered survey of women attending a large urban sexual and reproductive health clinic was undertaken to determine the acceptability of receiving contraceptive injections from a community pharmacist.
METHODS: Women aged 16-50 years attending an NHS walk-in sexual and reproductive health clinic were invited to complete questionnaires while they were waiting to attend an appointment with a clinician. Questionnaires asked women if they were current, previous or never users of the progestogen only injectable, their method of contraception and whether availability of the injectable from a local pharmacist would influence their decision to use this method.
RESULTS: Two hundred and forty questionnaires were distributed and 220 completed (92%). A total of 9% of respondents were past users of the injectable (n = 21), 4% were current users (n = 8) and the remaining 87% were never users. Of those 191 current non-users, 33% (n = 64) indicated that they would consider using this method if it was available at the pharmacy. The main perceived advantages of attending the pharmacy were quicker appointments (52%) and easier access (47%).
CONCLUSION: Provision of the injectable contraceptive from a pharmacist might make this method attractive to almost one in three women who are not currently using it. This could be a strategy to improve uptake and continuation of this method.