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Use of and attitudes towards emergency contraception: A survey of women in five European countries

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Diana Mansour


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Objective To identify knowledge of and attitudes towards emergency contraception (EC) in women from five European countries. Methods In an internet-based survey, sexually active women aged 16 to 46 years from France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and the UK were asked about their use of and opinions on EC. Results Overall, 7170 women completed the survey. Thirty percent reported having had unprotected sexual intercourse during the previous 12 months (population at risk). Twenty-four percent of the population at-risk reported using EC. The most common reasons given for not using EC were: not perceiving themselves to be at risk of pregnancy; and not thinking about EC as an option. A third of respondents indicated they did not know how EC works, with several misconceptions about EC noted e. g., leading to infertility, similar to abortion. Seventy-nine percent of women agreed that EC is a responsible choice to prevent unwanted pregnancy, but nearly a third of women who used EC felt uncomfortable or judged when obtaining it. Conclusions EC is underutilised by three-quarters of the women surveyed. Women do not recognise they may be at risk of pregnancy when contraception fails. There are still several misbeliefs about EC indicating a need for better education of the public.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Nappi RE, Abascal PL, Mansour D, Rabe T, Shojai R, Emergency Contraception Study Grp

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: European Journal of Contraception and Reproductive Health Care

Year: 2014

Volume: 19

Issue: 2

Pages: 93-101

Print publication date: 01/04/2014

ISSN (print): 1362-5187

ISSN (electronic): 1473-0782

Publisher: Informa Healthcare


DOI: 10.3109/13625187.2013.865164


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