Demand for emergency contraceptives increased 90% in Texas

AUSTIN (KXAN) – Texas women are tough. And for millions of them, the same goes for a doctor’s appointment. More than 1.7 million Texan women live in areas without comprehensive health facilities. These areas are known as contraceptive deserts and they are more common in Texas than most realize.

Dr Cassandra Cashman of Nurx, a digital women’s health practice, says women trying to get in-person medical care in Texas are a big deal.

“Contraceptive deserts are really a huge problem for female patients all over the country, but especially in the large states with many rural areas and limited access to health care, just like Texas because women can’t see it. a doctor or health care provider to access contraceptive services. They may be at risk of an unplanned pregnancy, which may increase the health risks for the mother, ”Cashman said.

Because contraceptive deserts are prevalent in Texas, Cashman says Nurx has seen an increase in requests to receive emergency contraceptives in the mail.

“We have seen since the launch of Senate Bill 8 a 90% increase in emergency contraception requests in Texas and all of our other states have remained essentially stable. So that’s a big increase, almost double, ”Cashman said.

She says many of her patients have also experienced long wait times at pharmacies.

“One of the things we’ve noticed since the pandemic is that patients who get their prescriptions, even at a local pharmacy, have had difficulty accessing that pharmacy because they either had reduced hours due to work shortages, “Cashman said” Yesterday a patient actually told me she was on hold for 40 minutes and still had no one to pick up at her chain pharmacy. So a lot of the patients who use the local pharmacies even have a hard time getting to, you know, not only the pharmacy but also the drugs there because of supply chain issues. Having trouble getting people to answer the phone, the lines are very long. “

As of this year, a quarter of women in Texas have no health insurance, which is about double the national average. Dr Cashman points out that all of these things together can be difficult.

“Between the decrease in access to contraceptive services, potentially the inability to pay for the services, and even though you can get an appointment with a doctor in person, we know that but even before the pandemic it was was about 24 days to wait on average, to get enough doctor’s appointments. And then you know that with the travel time, the parking and the cost, and the two hours in the waiting room, that’s a big barrier for many people to be able to access medical care in person, ” Cashman said.

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