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Emergency contraception: Who are the users?

Shawe, J; Ineichen, B; Lawrenson, R; (2001) Emergency contraception: Who are the users? J.Fam.Plann.Reprod.Health Care , 27 (4) pp. 209-212.

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CONTEXT: Data collected from two community family planning services are used to discuss the characteristics of users of emergency contraception (EC). OBJECTIVE: To investigate the characteristics of women attending for emergency contraception. DESIGN: A descriptive survey design was used to collect data. Questionnaires were completed over a 4-week period. Data were analysed using SPSS. SETTING: Community family planning services in South West Surrey and Newham, East London. PARTICIPANTS: Consenting women aged 14-44 years attending for emergency contraception (n = 171). MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Description of the users, the current episode and contact with contraceptive services were analysed by age. RESULTS: The age range was 14-37 years (mean 20.2 years). A majority were smokers. Of the women, 97.7% attended the clinic within the 72-hour time frame for issuing oral EC, however only 4% came within 12 hours of intercourse; 55% said that they had used contraception. Condom breakage was the commonest reason for failure. Reasons for not using contraception included getting 'carried away' (35%), not having condoms available (22%) and having drunk alcohol (13%). Of the sample 55.6% were previous users of EC. DISCUSSION: The study demonstrates a high incidence of sexual risk taking and need for EC, especially amongst smokers and drinkers. The message that soonest is best still requires promotion. Providers of EC must co-ordinate their services to ensure access within the 12-hour time frame in a local area. CONCLUSION: Health professionals need to ensure that clients have appropriate information about EC and regular contraceptive methods and that user friendly provision is widely available

Type: Article
Title: Emergency contraception: Who are the users?
Additional information: DA - 20021129 IS - 1471-1893 (Print) IS - 1471-1893 (Linking) LA - eng PT - Journal Article PT - Multicenter Study RN - 0 (Contraceptives, Postcoital, Hormonal) SB - IM
Keywords: Adolescent, Adult, Alcohol Drinking, Ambulatory Care Facilities, statistics & numerical data, Contraception Behavior, Contraceptives,Postcoital,Hormonal, administration & dosage, Demography, Female, Humans, Intrauterine Devices, utilization, London, epidemiology, Questionnaires, Sexual Behavior, Smoking
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Pop Health Sciences > Inst for Women's Health
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1333103
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