Awareness and usage of emergency contraceptive pills among working women: a hospital based survey from north India


  • Prateek Harne MBBS Intern, University College of Medical Sciences and GTB Hospital, Delhi
  • Amir Maroof Khan Department of Community Medicine, University College of Medical Sciences and GTB Hospital, Delhi



Family planning, Emergency contraceptive pills, Contraception


Background: In spite of the decline observed in total fertility rate (TFR) in India during the last few decades, the unintended pregnancy rates continue to remain the same. With increasing employment levels of women, there has been an increase in the contraceptive usage rates, but evidence among the working women regarding the emergency contraceptive pills is lacking. The Objectives of the study was to assess, among the working women regarding the emergency contraceptive pills (ECP).

Methods: A cross sectional survey was conducted among the reproductive age group working women attending the obstetrics and gynecology outpatient department clinic of a private hospital in Delhi. Face to face interviews were conducted using a sem-structured questionnaire.

Results: Out of the 206 participants studied, around one-third (35.0%) were not aware about ECPs. Amongst the aware, 81.3% and 44.8 % did not know about the correct indication and correct timing of ECP use respectively. Amongst those who were aware about ECPs, 91.8% had never used it.

Conclusions: Even though the awareness about ECPs is not low, the correct knowledge about its indications and correct timing is poor. More emphasis on increasing the awareness about ECPs is required to increase its correct use thereby reducing TFR further.


Dixit P, Ram F, Dwivedi LK. Determinants of unwanted pregnancies in India using matched case-control design. BMC Pregnancy Childbirth. 2012;12:84. doi: 10.1186/1471-2393-12-84.

Pachauri S. Priority strategies for India’s family planning programme. Indian J Med Res. 2014;140(Suppl 1):S137-46.

Haddad LB, Nour NM. Unsafe Abortion: Unnecessary Maternal Mortality. Rev Obstet Gynecol. 2009; 2(2):122-6.

Trussell J, Stewart F, Guest F, Hatcher RA. Emergency Contraceptive Pills: A Simple Proposal to Reduce Unintended Pregnancies. Family Planning Perspectives. 1992;24(6):269-73.

Purohit N, Mathur R, Bakhshi P. Knowledge and use of emergency contraceptive pill: An analysis of perception and practice among unmarried urban women. J Family Med Prim Care. 2013;2:376-80.

Kuppuswamy B. Manual of Socioeconomic scale (Urban), New Delhi, Manasayan, 32, Netaji Subhash Marg, 1981.

World Health Organization, Fact sheet No. 244, July 2012. Available from Accessed 11 September 2015.

Takkar N, Goel P, Saha PK, Dua D. Contraceptive practices and awareness of emergency contraception in educated working women. Indian J Med Sci. 2005;59(4):143-9.

Kose V, Joshi S. Knowledge of Emergency Contraception among Married Women of Reproductive Age in a Rural-based Teaching Hospital of Nagpur, Maharashtra, India. JSAFOG. 2012;4(2):106-9.

Kaushal SK, Saxena SC, Srivastava VK, Gupta SC, Nigam S. KAP study on contraceptive methods in Kanpur district of UP. Indian J Commun Health. 2009-2010;21(2):33-8.

Biradar SM. A Survey of Knowledge and Perceptions towards Emergency Contraceptives Among Working Women of Bijapur, South India. Int J Pharm Bio Sci. 2013;4(1):583-7.

George J, Turner J, Cooke E, Hennessy E, Savage W, Julian P, Cochrane R. Women's knowledge of emergency contraception. Br J Gen Prac. 1994;44(387):451-4.






Original Research Articles