COVID-19 and access to sexual and reproductive healthcare for young people: An overview of the international literature and policy


Background and objectives:

The COVID-19 pandemic has reduced the ability of young people to access appropriate and timely sexual and reproductive healthcare (SRH). The aim of this study was to summarise international innovations aimed at ensuring ongoing access.


Method:

This study was an overview of peer‑reviewed literature and policy statements from international and national organisations related to SRH for young people during COVID-19.


Results:

Innovations have focused on improving access to appropriate and timely SRH for young people, mostly through telehealth; increasing community and healthcare worker awareness of the heightened risk of gender-based violence and its consequences; and removing restrictions on contraception and abortion access. Despite this, a substantial decline in sexual wellbeing and SRH access has been reported from many parts of the world, although Australian data are lacking.


Discussion:

Support for young people to access timely and appropriate SRH during the COVID-19 pandemic should be a priority for policymakers around the world.