Assessment of attitude towards use of emergency contraceptives among antenatal women


  • Nirmala Jaget Lakkawar Department of Obstetrics & Gynaecology, Sri Lakshmi Narayana Institute of Medical Sciences (SLIMS), Bharath University, Pondicherry-605009, India
  • Shally Magon Department of Obstetrics & Gynaecology, Sri Lakshmi Narayana Institute of Medical Sciences (SLIMS), Bharath University, Pondicherry-605009, India
  • Padma Alaganandam Department of Obstetrics & Gynaecology, Sri Lakshmi Narayana Institute of Medical Sciences (SLIMS), Bharath University, Pondicherry-605009, India


Emergency contraception, Awareness, Practice, Antenatal


Background: Despite the wide availability of a range of modern contraceptives, unwanted and unplanned pregnancies continue to be a major problem in most of the developing countries like India. Situations such as unprotected sex, improper use of regular contraceptives, failure of barrier methods and sexual violence often lead to an unwanted pregnancy, which may warrant for unsafe abortions. Introduction of Emergency Contraception (EC) over the counter in India in the recent past can help women to avoid unintended pregnancies.

Methods: The present cross sectional study was designed to assess the awareness, level of knowledge and usage of EC among the women attending antenatal clinic. Systematic random sampling was used to select the participants for the study. 200 married women in age group between 18-35 years were interviewed through a pretested structured questionnaire to collect information on age, education, residential and socioeconomic status, obstetric profile, knowledge and usage of EC.  

Results: The average age of women included in the study was 24.2 years ± 4.2. The knowledge and usage of EC among the participants was 11.5 % and 10.5% respectively. Age, education, socio-economic status, religion and parity had the significant role in knowledge and attitude towards EC. Clinician and electronic media were the most important source of information about EC. Knowledge about the brand name, time frame for usage and the side effects of EC were known to 60.8%, 43.4% and 17.9% of the participants respectively. Chemist and general practitioners were the first choice of places for obtaining the EC.

Conclusions: Most importantly, the women who are most likely to need EC and those who are at high risk of an unintended pregnancy but not using any method of contraception have low level of knowledge about emergency contraception. There is a need for sustained efforts by the government and non-government organization including the media to clarify the difference between emergency contraception and medical abortion in order to increase acceptability and willingness to use emergency contraceptive measures.


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