SALES of pregnancy tests have exploded in Alicante as health experts worry unemployment due to the impacts of lockdown are making couples shelve plans to become a family.

An increase of over 100,000 tests were recorded in the province throughout April, compared with the same month last year.

The 10.9% increase in sales brought total sales to 950,100, according to statistics from Spain’s branch of US pharmaceutical analyst IQVIA.

Figures also showed that tests for ovulation fell a dramatic 16.3% in sales and ovulation stimulants fell 11.9%.

Couple therapist and coordinator of Sexology for the Official College of Psychologists (COP) said the cancellation of medical appointments cannot explain the figures by itself.

“I think a large factor in these figures is couples losing motivation to get pregnant, whether due to fear of catching coronavirus in a medical setting, or probably because right now couples have lost their jobs due to the pandemic.”

She said that increases in condom sales, up by 2.6% compared with April 2019, showed that sexual partners are practicing safe sex.

She also said it was worth asking whether ‘people have genuinely respected confinement rules’.

However, a study on telecommunications geo-positioning data revealed that residents in the Valencian Community travelled fewer distances and stayed at home better than the rest of Spain.

It comes as the Valencian Community has registered among the highest increases in unemployment in Spain, due to its reliance on the service and tourism industries.

A report from Spain’s Instituto Nacional de Estadisticas (INE) revealed the region saw 32,100 newly unemployed people since the start of the crisis.

This puts the autonomous community in second place behind the Balearic Islands, which saw 67,100 jobs lost. Across Spain, figures for newly unemployed people stands at 121,000, bringing the total unemployed to 3,313,000.

Youth unemployment has also risen four percentage points to reach 30%, compared with the national average of 32.9%.

Google Trends also shows an increase in searches for ‘Home Births’ since the beginning of the coronavirus lockdown, likely due to worries about attending hospitals.

In most hospitals across Spain, mothers must give birth unaccompanied in accordance with regional coronavirus protocols.

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