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Family Planning Clinics offer Emergency Contraception Service on Sundays

By December 5, 2004News

– Release date: 05 December 2004

The Irish Family Planning Association, today (5.12.04), launched a new Sunday emergency contraception service at its two flagship clinics in Dublin. The decision to offer a Sunday service has come about due to a growing demand for emergency contraception at weekends.

The IFPA’s clinics are located at The Square, Tallaght and Cathal Brugha Street, Dublin 1.

According to the IFPA’s Director of Pregnancy Counselling, Rosie Toner, “most people do their socialising at weekends, and this is when most incidents of unprotected sex happen. The new Sunday service will mean that women can avail of emergency contraception within hours of unprotected sex or contraceptive failure. The earlier emergency contraception is taken, the more effective it will be.”

“The IFPA is among a small number of service providers now operating on Sundays. Upto now, many women who have had unprotected sex or who experienced contraceptive failure at weekends have had to sit it out until Monday before seeing a doctor. Some have even turned up at the accident and emergency units of hospitals in a desperate attempt to get emergency contraception. All of this waiting and running around can amount to a very distressing experience.

“The IFPA’s Sunday service is strictly limited to emergencies, and no appointment is necessary. It is our expectation that this service will improve take-up of emergency contraception and reduce the instance of unplanned pregnancy.”

The IFPA’s Sunday service is being launched to coincide with the Christmas Party season, when demand for emergency contraception peaks. The IFPA normally sees demand for emergency contraception double on Saturdays and Mondays, accounting for 10% of total appointments on these days. However, at Christmas, at least one-third of appointments are devoted to clients requiring emergency contraception.

“It is really important to stress that even through we are improving access to emergency contraception, it is still critical that people practice safe sex. There is a whole range of contraception now available, from pills to patches, so virtually all needs are catered for. However, not all methods protect against Sexually Transmitted Infections and we would strongly advise people to use a condom, particularly if they are having sex with a new partner,” warned Rosie Toner.

The IFPA’s Sunday service operates as follows:

IFPA, 5-7 Cathal Brugha Street, Dublin 1 (Tel: 8727088)
Sunday opening hours: 2pm – 5pm

IFPA, Level 3, The Square, Tallaght (Tel: 459 7685)
Sunday Opening Hours: 12 noon – 3pm

The cost for the visit will be €50 with a student reduction available. The IFPA will continue to operate its normal services from Monday through to Saturday, when it is advisable to book ahead for an appointment.