Limited access to contraceptives and services because of COVID-19 is likely to lead to a surge in unintended pregnancies, according to sexual health advocates.

Darrah Teitel with Action Canada for Sexual Health and Rights has already noticed a big increase in the number of people calling its helpline in distress.

“We’re looking at a huge number of unintended pregnancies, probably,” Teitel said, unless something is done soon to make those services more available.

Otherwise, she said, the pandemic could lead to dire consequences for people’s sexual health, particularly for more vulnerable people.

The COVID-19 outbreak has hit sexual-health services from almost every angle, from contraceptive supply to access to tests for sexually transmitted infections.

Many pharmacies have had to ration medications, including birth control, to one-month supplies to avoid shortages, according to the Canadian Pharmacists Association.

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They have also noted a more limited supply of condoms, and they aren’t alone.

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“We are definitely hearing about condom shelves being empty,” Teitel said.

Several factories in Malaysia have at least partially shut down operations over concerns about the virus,

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