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Level of awareness and knowledge of emergency contraception in patients undergoing induced abortions in a rural part of India

Akhilesh G. Kirane, Nandkishor B. Gaikwad, Prashant E. Bhingare, Vidya D. Mule.

Abstract
Background: Emergency Contraceptive Pills (ECP) was introduced in National Family Welfare programme of India since 2003 and is easily available. Aim of this study was to assess the awareness and knowledge of ECP in the women undergoing induced abortion, which represent huge number of unintended pregnancies in India which have negative impact on health resources.
Methods: This questionnaire based cross-sectional study was conducted for 10 months in Government Medical College in Miraj and included 110 women.
Results: 57.2 %, women belonged to 20 to 30 years of age. 89% attended some years of school. 33.6% of patients were not using any contraception while 47.27 % had irregularly used some contraception; only 19.09 % were using contraception regularly. Only 7.2 % patients had ever heard of emergency contraception pills while none had ever used or knew how to use ECPs. None of the patients knew if ECP were available in any government hospitals.
Conclusions: The huge number of patients undergoing MTP in represent increased surgical load on the government medical facilities. Majority of literate patients signifies the potential target area for contraception counselling and will be much ready to accept some form of contraception including ECPs as a backup.
Only 7.2 % had ever heard of emergency contraception points to the glaring deficits in knowledge and practice of ECP despite government efforts. Government centres should promote ECP aggressively as was done in case of barriers/ CuT methods along with proper counselling.

Key words: Awareness, Emergency contraception, Emergency Contraceptive Pills (ECP)


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