Project Title: Women's perspectives of over-the-counter access to oral contraception
Supervisors: Professor Danielle Mazza and Dr. Natalie Amos
Tara Dev is a medical student who has just completed her fourth year at Monash University. She is taking a break in her degree to complete an honours degree under SPHERE. She has a strong interest in both general practice and women's health. Tara's research is focusing on women's opinions on whether or not the contraceptive pill should be available over the counter.
Over 100 countries around the world provide contraceptive pills over-the-counter. While the emergency contraceptive pill is available over-the-counter, the majority of the oral contraceptive options still require doctor’s prescription in Australia. Removing the prescription requirement for the oral contraceptive pill may therefore improve access. The objective of this study is to explore women’s perspectives of over-the-counter access to the pill including their perceived benefits and concerns. We also aim to understand if women think they would use this service and how they might use it. Women participants (N=20) aged 18-44 will be recruited through social media advertising and asked to participate in a telephone interview. The findings will provide an understanding of women’s perspectives on whether over-the-counter access to contraception is worth pursuing in Australia. This study will be the first in Australia to explore women’s perspectives regarding direct pharmacy supply of oral contraception. The findings will improve our understanding of whether pharmacist prescribed contraception is perceived as acceptable to women and whether this initiative could improve their access to and use of the pill.