Sexual & Reproductive Health

What we do

The Sexual and Reproductive Health team at WHG work with a range of partner organisations to improve the sexual and reproductive health outcomes of women in the Grampians region.

We aim to increase women’s access to timely and appropriate sexual and reproductive health services with a focus on contraception, pregnancy counselling, and abortion.

WHG engages regional partners to build local capacity and promote training for professionals working in this area.

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In Australia:

  • Over half of all women have experienced an unplanned pregnancy
  • At the time of an unplanned pregnancy, 60 per cent of women were using at least one form of contraception.
  • Local and regional data tells us there are major barriers for rural women accessing family planning services.

The Grampians region has:

  • the lowest rate of prescribers and dispensers of Early Medical Abortion in Victoria
  • the lowest regional rate of IUD provision with patient demand for IUDs higher than service provision across 9 of our 11 LGA’s
  • and the lowest regional rate of Implanon provision with LOCAL service provision of Implanon significantly LESS than patient demand in 6 LGA’s
  • Our teenage birth rate is consistently higher than the state average
  • Regional rates of Chlamydia are higher than those for Victoria.

Our Projects

Tell Your Story

Women’s Health Grampians is proud to announce the launch of Tell Your Story – a report capturing the lived experiences of 110 women and gender diverse people accessing contraception and abortion services in the Grampians region.

Tell Your Story invited women and gender diverse people aged 18-45 years living in our region to answer an anonymous survey, responses spanned all age groups and local government areas. Compiling these stories is providing a clear picture of what women value when seeking reproductive healthcare, how they feel about current levels of service and the changes they would like to see.

For the first time, we can provide a strong consumer voice to inspire change in public health planning, referral pathways, workforce support and development.

Read the full report here

It's Your Body, You Decide

The video ‘It’s Your Body, You Decide’ discusses options for medical and surgical abortion and how to find local services. Developed by Women’s Health Grampians it aims to overcome challenges for women accessing abortion across the Grampians region.

In collaboration with the Multicultural Centre for Women’s Health this video has now been adapted for 8 different languages. Versions of this video in Burmese, Farsi, Korean, Italian, Turkish, Spanish, Swahili and Vietnamese can be accessed here.

Advice & Assistance

1800 My Options

Independent, non-judgmental, woman-centred and pro-choice, this confidential, free phone line and online service provides information about contraception, pregnancy options (including abortion) and sexual health.

The team at 1800 My Options work alongside hundreds of trusted healthcare providers in Victoria, to link people to the services that best suits their needs. To add your service to the 1800 My Options map, follow the link below.

1800 My Options also has a range of promotional resources available for download or order from their website.

Our Research

In 2017, WHG partnered with the University of Melbourne to develop the Rural GPs and Unintended Pregnancies in the Grampians Pyrenees and Wimmera regions report.

This research confirmed that information on the range of options available to women with unintended pregnancies is limited in our region and direct services are scarce.

In 2018, the Increasing Reproductive Choices project was established to address some of those issues.

In 2019 an evaluation of the Increasing Reproductive Choices in the Grampians Pyrenees and Wimmera Regions project found:

  •  a 16% increase in the proportion of GPs who would always discuss medical abortion (up from 27% in 2017 to 43%)
  • 60% of participants described the range, number of services and referral pathways available to patients with unintended pregnancy as improved
  • closer working relationships between experts and local providers
  • strong and enduring relationships with key stakeholders

Through the Increasing Reproductive Choices Partnership Group, we continue to monitor sexual and reproductive health service provision across the region, remaining alert and responsive to any workforce challenges or barriers for women accessing abortion care.

This partnership ensures WHG can provide strong rural and regional advocacy to relevant peak bodies and networks in working towards improved reproductive choices for women.

Professional Development

Centre of Excellence in Rural Sexual Health (CERSH) provide free accredited Online Learning Modules for Rural Sexual Health Practitioners

Microcredential: Abortion, Contraception and Sexual Health: Supporting Client Access. This free short course provides an understanding of sexual and reproductive health rights and options and the barriers that can affect access to services in Victoria. 

Developed by 1800 My Options this is suitable for any health professional, support worker or student who is interested in learning how to support clients who are seeking abortion, contraception and sexual health information and services.

SPHERE AusCAPPS Community of Practice: empowering Australia’s primary care workforce to deliver best practice, evidence-based care to women of reproductive age who are trying to prevent or manage an unintended pregnancy. Open to Nurses, Pharmacists, and GP’s, AusCAPPS increases access to much-needed practice support, resources, and education and training, as well as regional peer-networking opportunities.

Recorded webinar “Preparing your Practice to Deliver Medical Abortion” 

Women’s Health Grampians acknowledges the support of the Victorian Government.

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