Press Releases

25 Sep 2020

World Contraception Day: Contraception awareness crucial amid Covid-19

26 September (tomorrow) marks World Contraception Day. This year, the Covid-19 global pandemic has severely disrupted services and delivery of contraceptive supplies and adversely affected the sexual and reproductive health (SRH) of many communities. The Family Planning Association of Hong Kong (FPAHK) urges the public, including youths, to be vigilant in making informed choices regarding contraception and safer sex, as part of a concerted effort to meet the SRH challenges posed by Covid-19.

Since February this year, medical facilities around the world have redirected manpower and resources to fight the pandemic, straining the resources for SRH services. Lockdowns have impeded women’s access to contraceptive services and disrupted the production and delivery of contraceptive supplies, leading to shortages which hit the lowest-income countries hardest. According to data released by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) in April [i] , some 47 million women in 114 low- and middle-income countries were projected to be unable to obtain contraceptives or services, and 2 million additional women would be impacted for every three months the lockdowns continued. Moreover, 7 million unintended pregnancies were anticipated if the lockdowns continued for 6 months. According to a survey of its member associations conducted by the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) [ii], 5,633 static and mobile clinics and community-based care outlets across 64 countries had closed amid Covid-19, accounting for 14 % of the total service delivery points IPPF members ran in 2018. For static clinics which provided 114 million services to clients in 2018, 546 had closed, equivalent to a significant impact of more than one in five clinics closing. 

In Hong Kong, Covid-19’s impact on SRH appears relatively slight. In the face of temporary suspension of non-emergency and non-essential services in public hospitals and clinics and service reduction in the private medical sector, FPAHK strived to maintain the essential services of contraceptive consultation and supplies, emergency contraception, counselling for unplanned pregnancy and provision of termination of pregnancy. At the peak of the pandemic, there was temporary curtailment of the opening hours of the Association’s Clinics and Youth Health Care Centres during late January to early February and July to August, but all clinical and counselling services have resumed since 31 August. So far there has been no local shortage of contraceptive supplies. 

Nonetheless, to minimize the risk of impediment or slippage on contraceptive use, FPAHK has the following suggestions for users: 

  • Oral contraceptives are non-prescription drugs that can be purchased over-the-counter from local pharmacies. Users are advised to stock up at least 30 days’ supply for their own consumption needs.
  • Long acting reversible contraception by intrauterine contraceptive device (IUCD) or hormone-releasing intrauterine system is recommended for their high efficacy and long duration of 5-10 years. They are relatively hassle-free methods that only require the user to undergo an annual health checkup.
  • Emergency contraception pills (ECP) must be prescribed by a doctor and taken as soon as possible within 72 or 120 hours after an unprotected sexual intercourse. Users may consider asking for advanced provision of ECP during their regular doctor’s visit to keep at home as a standby. 

There have been concerns whether the demand for FPAHK’s services, particularly emergency contraception and termination of pregnancy, has escalated during the pandemic. According to FPAHK’s service statistics, most clinical services recorded a decline in attendance during the first eight months this year as compared with the same period last year. On the one hand, some clients probably preferred to stay home and deferred their appointments; on the other hand FPAHK’s service hours were somewhat shortened. However, the number of services provided to women seeking termination of pregnancy*, the number of termination of pregnancies performed (including women who are married or aged 26 and above and unmarried women aged below 26) and the number of attendances for emergency contraception among unmarried women aged below 26 increased (please refer to the table below). This could probably be explained by the reduction in related services in both public and private health sectors, leaving FPAHK their only option. 


Client groups

January-August 2019

January-August 2020

Emergency contraception


Women who are married or

aged 26 and above



Unmarried women aged below 26



Service to women seeking termination of pregnancy


Women who are married or

aged 26 and above



Unmarried women aged below 26



Termination of pregnancy


Women who are married or

aged 26 and above and unmarried women aged below 26



* attendances ≠ number of clients, as each client may attend more than once for initial consultation, further assessment, follow-up etc.

In support of World Contraception Day, FPAHK’s sexuality education youth volunteer team “Famplus2” is running the 【9.26 World Contraception Day】 “Don't Take Chances” Online Campaign during 10-26 September on their Facebook Page ( and Instagram account ( The 3-week campaign includes short videos, interactive games and an online calligraphy workshop. A set of Whatsapp stickers with playful phrases (see images below) is also being launched. Youth are encouraged to download and share them with friends to promote contraception awareness and a healthy sexual attitude. Details are available on the Campaign webpage (available in Chinese only) at this shortened URL:

Whatsapp stickers can be downloaded at:

In addition, The FPAHK Facebook Page ( compares seven common reliable reversible contraceptive methods, showing their pros and cons at a glance, to help readers make informed choices that suit their personal needs. Click on the link below to read the carousell post (available in Chinese only):

[i] “COVID-19 could lead to millions of unintended pregnancies, new UN-backed data reveals” (28 April 2020), United Nations website (

[ii] “COVID-19 pandemic cuts access to sexual and reproductive healthcare for women around the world” (9 April 2020), IPPF Website (