The Victorian Government has launched a women’s reproductive and sexual health helpline
The new health phone line will direct Victorians to clinical services such as pharmacy, contraception, counselling support, termination providers and a range of other services.
It will also provide sexual and reproductive health information.
The Andrews Government has provided $1.76 million over four years to set up the service, which is free and confidential.
It says the line will be staffed with highly trained, experienced and sensitive staff who have extensive knowledge in sexual and reproductive health issues.
The line, 1800 My Options, will be operated by Women’s Health Victoria.
In addition to the new phone line, there is also new women’s reproductive health information on the Better Health Channel. It provides comprehensive, evidence-based information about women’s sexual and reproductive health.
Both the phone line and online information are part of Victoria’s Women’s Sexual and Reproductive Health Strategy, which is supported by $6.6 million in Labor Government funding. The strategy sets out key actions to reduce barriers and service gaps that affect women’s access to reproductive and sexual health services.
One year on, a number of initiatives have commenced, including two community-based reproductive health hubs located in Bendigo and Melbourne’s west, with another two to open this year, and the provision of free facial hair laser treatment for women with polycystic ovarian syndrome at the Monash Medical Centre in Clayton.
The Strategy also provided a revamp of the Family Planning Victoria’s Action Centre.
“No matter where they live, Victorian women will now have access to free, evidence-based information about contraception, pregnancy options and sexual and reproductive health,” says state Health Minister Jill Hennessy.
“Women’s sexual and reproductive health is vital to their overall health and wellbeing. That’s why we are working hard to improve access to the sexual and reproductive health information, support and services, closer to home.”