Awareness and Attitudes Toward Emergency Contraceptives Among College Students in South India

Nitin Joseph, Bhavishya Shetty, Fathima Hasreen, R. Ishwarya, Mukesh Baniya, Sahil Sachdeva, Samarth Agarwal

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Abstract

Background: In India every year, a large number of pregnancies are unplanned resulting in unsafe abortion. This has tremendous implications both on health and survival of women. Usage of emergency contraceptive pills (ECPs) could be a solution provided the usage is as per guidelines and social issues do not cause objections. Aim: This study was done to assess the awareness and attitudes regarding ECPs. Methods: Data were collected using self-administered questionnaire from the university students. Results: Out of 449 students, 384(85.5 %) had heard about ECPs. The commonest source of information was television 299(77.9 %). Only 128(33.3 %) students knew that ECPs do not help in prevention of STDs. 209(54.4 %) participants knew the correct time frame for taking ECPs. 109(28.4 %) were unaware of its side effects. Only 149(33.2 %) had received reproductive health education (RHE) in the past. The awareness level of students about ECPs was moderate among 231(60.2 %) participants. Awareness was significantly more among males (p = 0.013), students with science background (p = 0.001) and those who had RHE previously (p = 0.043). 219(57 %) had average level of perception toward ECPs. 254(66.2 %) participants favored prescription before procuring ECPs from drug stores. 261(68 %) participants favored information about ECPs to be given in educational institutions, and a majority, 186(48.4 %), said they would recommend ECPs to their friends. Average-to-good perception about ECPs was seen in significantly greater proportion of females (p = 0.034). Conclusion: RHE is must at educational institutions so as to promote awareness and to remove misconceptions about ECPs among youth. This would help users in preventing unintended pregnancies and unsafe abortions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)363-369
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Obstetrics and Gynecology of India
Volume66
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 01-10-2016

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All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Obstetrics and Gynaecology

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