Document Type



Family Medicine


OBJECTIVES: To assess knowledge and attitudes about Emergency Contraception among women of childbearing age in Karachi, Pakistan.

METHODS: A questionnaire based survey was conducted on 400 married women, attending the family practice clinics at a teaching hospital in Karachi, Pakistan from July to December 2006. Questionnaire was administered to women at the family practice clinic-seeking level of knowledge of emergency contraception (EC) and attitudes towards its use, Ethical requirements of informed consent and confidentiality were ensured Data was entered into Epi data and analyzed in SPSS.RESULTS: Eighty-eight percent of women were not aware of EC. 83% were housewives. Only a small number (11.5%) ever used EC to prevent pregnancy, out of those, the correct timing of effectiveness of post-coital pill was known to only 40% of women while none of these women were aware of the existence of Intra Uterine Contraceptive Device (IUCD) insertion as an option for EC About 50% of women identified general practitioners or family medicine clinics as their main sources of knowledge about EC. Increased advertising was considered desirable by 72% while 37% considered over the counter availability of EC pill desirable and only 36% of women were uncomfortable to use EC because of religious reasons.

CONCLUSION: EC has a potential to offer women an important option for fertility control. Lack of women's knowledge about EC use and availability may account in part for its limited use. There is a need to improve women's education about EC. The primary health care providers can play a major role in informing their patients about emergency contraception.


Journal of the Pakistan Medical Association

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