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Contraceptive acceptance following the use of Emergency Contraception
– Dr Suneeta Mittal, Dr M Lakhatia and Dr S Kumar, AIIMS, New Delhi

One hundred women were provided with EC during 1996 to 1997. Their change in attitude and compliance towards other family planning methods was studied after six months of EC use.

A field-based cross sectional study was done to include all women who were provided with emergency contraception. Their contraceptive use before and of six months after EC use was recorded.

It was observed that there was a significant increase in the number (70% from 13%) of regular contraceptive users following use of EC. The acceptance of oral pills increased from 3 to 44%

Use of condoms increased from 10% to 18%. Five women who had completed their family opted for tubal ligation following use of Emergency Contraception and 3% had CuT inserted. A significant decline was observed in the number of non-users and occasional contraceptive users. Only one woman used Emergency Contraception again during this period. She was unable to use oral pills or IUD due to side-effects. One woman was pregnant at the time of follow-up.

Thus, use of Emergency Contraception coupled with adequate counselling, not only enables the woman to prevent an unplanned pregnancy but also gives her a ‘second chance’ to carefully choose a contraceptive method. It reinforces her faith in hormonal contraception when she finds what wonders it can do at a much lower dose. Major reasons for unwanted pregnancies are women’s failure to use a contraceptive method, incorrect use of method, poor knowledge about emergency contraception and ineffective teaching by health professionals. a consultation for emergency contraception presented an opportunity to discuss more reliable and acceptable methods of contraception. a follow-up visit after periods reinforced this, since most of the subsequent contraception was initiated in the very first cycle following EC use.

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