Access to emergency contraception

Access to emergency contraception

T. Bombas, C. Silva, D. Velho, M.J. Trindade, T.S. Fernandes

Family Planning Association, Coimbra, Portugal

In Portugal since 1984 the family planning services and contraceptive methods

are free. Despite that, we estimate that we have 20 000 not legal abortions per

year. Emergency contraception can reduce the risk of pregnancy after unprotected

intercourse by as much as 95% and it is available without a medical prescription

since 2002. The aim of this study was to assess the knowledge, attitudes and

practices regarding emergency contraception in pharmacies of our city. The study

questionnaire was administered in 31 pharmacies simulate the demand of emergency

contraception. In majority (64.5%) the sell was done by qualified professionals.

In 6.5% the sell was refused, in 29.0% was done without questions and in the

65.5% the pharmacist inquired about the need for this form of contraception. The

information about safety, secondary effects and form of use was in majority of

cases well done, 89.7%, 62.1% and 65.5% respectively. The information about the

results of emergency contraception was correct in 72.4% of cases. In 75.9% of

cases there was no orientation for family planning appointment and only in 41.4%

the pharmacist talk about a contraceptive method for the future. The pharmacist

were not enough informed about the emergency contraception and we have to do

more to sensitize these professionals for the family planning services.

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