EMERGENCY CONTRACEPTION - WHERE DO WE STAND
Objective: To assess the awareness and practice of emergency contraception among individuals of reproductive age presenting to outpatient department, CMH Kharian.
Study Design: Cross sectional observational study.
Place and Duration of Study: Outpatient department of Combined Military Hospital Kharian from Jan to Jun 2014.
Material and Methods: A sample of 500 individuals of child bearing age (60% female and 40% males) attending outpatient department at CMH Kharian during months of Jan to Jun, 2014 was obtained. Data were collected by doing in person interviews and filling out questionnaire which assessed the awareness and practice of emergency contraception.
Results: A total of 13.4% of individuals had awareness regarding emergency contraception (EC) irrespective of gender, parity, education and socioeconomic status (SES). The familiarity regarding different methods of EC was even lower. Among the participants 91.8% were not familiar with different methods of EC, while, 3% had awareness regarding OCPs, and 1.0% knew about IUD as being methods of EC. A total of 68% percent of individuals did not consider any options of EC as being safe. Among the participants 74% did not use any method of contraception.
Conclusion: This study highlights poor knowledge regarding emergency contraception irrespective of gender, SES, parity, and education of individuals. There is a complete lack of practice of EC. Furthermore there is limited practice of contraceptive use in spite of its availability and government and non-government organizations are putting efforts to increase awareness in this regard. This is mostly due to conflicting information, myths and negative attitude towards contraception.