Hong Kong Med J 2012;18:299–303 | Number 4, August 2012
The profile of women who seek emergency contraception from the family planning service
Sue ST Lo, PC Ho
The Family Planning Association of Hong Kong, 10/F, 130 Hennessy Road, Wanchai, Hong Kong
OBJECTIVES. To review the profile of emergency contraceptive users, their reasons for using emergency contraception, and whether they use it correctly.
DESIGN. Retrospective analysis of medical records.
SETTING. Six Birth Control Clinics and three Youth Health Care Centres of the Family Planning Association of Hong Kong.
PARTICIPANTS. Women requesting emergency contraception between 2006 and 2008.
MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES. Demographics of emergency contraception users, reasons for requesting emergency contraception, number of times the subject had unprotected intercourse before emergency contraception use, type of emergency contraception provided, coitus-treatment intervals, and outcomes.
RESULTS. A total of 11 014 courses of emergency contraception were provided, which included 10 845 courses of levonorgestrel-only pills, 168 intrauterine contraceptive devices, and one course of pills plus an intrauterine contraceptive device. The mean age of the users was 30 years. Two thirds (65.6%) were nulliparous and 64.9% had not had a previous abortion. Their major reasons for requesting emergency contraception were: omission of contraceptive at the index intercourse (38.9%), condom accidents (38.0%), and non-use of any regular contraceptives (20.6%). Non-users of contraceptives were more likely to have had a previous abortion. In all, 97.9% of women took emergency contraception within 72 hours of their unprotected intercourse; 98% had had a single act of unprotected intercourse. None of the intrauterine contraceptive device users became pregnant. The failure rate for emergency contraceptive pills was 1.8%.
CONCLUSIONS. Women requested emergency contraception because contraceptives were omitted or condom accidents. Health care providers should focus on motivating women with a history of abortion to use contraceptives, and ensure that condom users know how to use them correctly. Most women followed instructions on the use for emergency contraception and their outcomes were satisfactory.
Key words: Contraceptives, postcoital; Intrauterine devices; Levonorgestrel
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