Is Coronavirus Affecting Your Period?

From being unable to get your contraceptive pill prescription to a lack of Tampax on the supermarket shelves, Grazia has the solutions...

Is coronavirus affecting your period

by Grazia |

COVID-19 has altered lives indescribably and in unprescendented ways. For those of us who are lucky enough to be getting on with life as (relatively) normal under lockdown, there are still a fair few obstacles thrown at us on a daily basis. Period issues for example. If you're on the pill and are running low on supplies, how do you get your regular prescription if the walk-in clinic you'd usually visit is a drive way, or closed? Is it it a query worthy of your GP's time when they are under so much pressure as it is? Oh and then there are tampon and sanitary pad supplies. We all heard about the dramatic run on toilet roll when lockdown was first announced. We became resignedly used to the sight of empty loo roll shelves very quickly, but not once did the headlines read 'greedy shoppers rinse supermarkets of tampons'. That was the reality, you were lucky if you could pick up your monthly supplies anywhere, and the situation's still a tad touch-and-go, even Amazon Pantry sold out. As if that time of the month wasn't stressful enough! Never fear though, as ever Grazia has a few carefully thought out solutions to hand...

online pharmacy
©Content Pixie

The GP's Take On Getting Hold Of Your Contraceptive Pill

Dr Isabella Kent gave Grazia her take on the issue. 'Many women will be nervous about contacting their GP about their pill, fearing that they might be exposed to the virus if they need a face-to-face review. Others might feel guilty about getting in touch with us, as they may worry that we are too busy focusing on treating very sick patients.'

'In reality, contraception is very high up on our priority list - now more than ever. We are fully aware that enforced home quarantine will mean that more people are spending time at home with their partners, increasing the likelihood of sexual activity and unplanned pregnancies.'

'GPs are now (by and large) doing telephone and video consultations. This still allows doctors to assess most women without the need for them to come into the surgery. If you are already on the combined pill, we should be able to re-prescribe a 6 or 12 month supply for you after checking a few things over the phone. Ideally, we would need your blood pressure and weight to have been recorded within the last year. If we don't have this information, many surgeries have blood pressure machines in their reception areas that you can pop in to use. If you are on the progesterone only pill (or 'mini pill'), we can normally issue a 12 month supply without the need for a review.'

Looking To Start Taking The Pill?

'If you are looking to start the pill, this shouldn't be too much of a problem either, providing you aren't in one of the 'high risk' groups that increase your risk of complications such as blood clots. A generally safe option is the progesterone only pill, which could be started after a telephone assessment. Alternatively, the combined pill could be prescribed if we can get an accurate weight and blood pressure. We can normally prescribe these pills in a 6 or 12 month supply - depending on individual factors. If either of these pills aren't suitable, fear not - your GP can signpost you towards some other options.'

Things To Be Aware Of If You're Considering Coming Off The Pill

'If for whatever reason you are considering coming off your pill at this time, there are a few things to be aware of. If you were taking the pill to keep any hormonal issues at bay - such as period pain, acne or mood swings - you may find that these issues flare up when you stop taking it. It may take a few months for your periods to return and become regular. If they haven't after 3 months, contact your doctor who can check for any underlying issues and also consider an unexpected pregnancy. It goes without saying that if you are coming off your pill but still wanting contraceptive cover, make sure you have thought about this before coming off the pill.'

contraceptive pill
©Reproductive Health Supplies Coalition

How About An Online Pharmacy?

Are we all aware of Superdrug's online service Superdrug Online Pharmacy? If not, get acquainted. It enables to order your NHS repeat prescriptions online. When it come to the contraceptive pill this means that once registered (fill inthe requisite online forms) you can click on your regular pill brand and take the questionnaire. The online questionnaire asks you all the basic questions a nurse would ask you in a normal consultation - whether you're a smoker, whether you're pregnant etc. The one thing you will need to check is your blood pressure. If you've had it measured within the last few months, call your GP surgery and ask for the reading over the phone. Once you have filled in the form and paid for your pill (yes you have to pay we're afraid! But needs must) your request gets sent to a doctor to look over. Once they have approved it, your pill gets mailed out to your chosen address, and boom! Problem solved.

Subscribe To Your Favourite Period Products

Instead of relying on the supermarket shelves to supply you with what you're after each month, why not set up a subscription? Numerous brands offer services that send tampons, pads and liners straight to your door, in discrete packaging, every month. If you shop around you'll soon find out that there are a wealth of period product brands out there offering natural and 100% organic alternatives to the big brands that you might be more used to. Shop a few of our favourites below...

Browse: The Best Of The UK's Tampon And Pad Subscription Services

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Tampon pad subscription services

Freda Subscription Boxes, from £10.50 a month
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Choose from day pads, night pads, pantyliners and tampons with Freda's own-brand organic period supplies.

Flux Subscription Boxes, from £3.50 per box
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The box fits through most letterboxes, the packaging is discrete and you can choose from some of the UK's favourite brands.

Ohne 100% Organic Tampons, from £4.80
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Ohne's own-brand tampons are 100% organic, and you can subscribe for monthly deliveries. We never judge period subscription boxes by their covers but the branding's all terribly cool-looking.

TOTM Subscriptions, from £2.70
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Choose your organic TOTM products (applicator tampons, non applicator tampons, pads, liners), quantity, set up your delivery date and you're good to go!

&Sisters Subscriptions, from £2
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With tampons made from 100% pure natural organic cotton fibres, &Sisters was straight on our radar. Choose from tampons and pads, and have them delivered straight to your door each month.

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