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Six years after deregulation of emergency contraception in Switzerland: has free access induced changes in the profile of clients attending an emergency pharmacy in Zürich?


Samartzis, Eleftherios P; Merki-Feld, Gabriele S; Seifert, Burkhardt; Kut, Elvan; Imthurn, Bruno (2012). Six years after deregulation of emergency contraception in Switzerland: has free access induced changes in the profile of clients attending an emergency pharmacy in Zürich? European Journal of Contraception and Reproductive Health Care, 17(3):197-204.

Abstract

OBJECTIVES: Emergency contraception (EC) has been freely accessible in Swiss pharmacies since November 2002. Today some groups are still concerned that free access might result in less use of efficient contraceptive methods, overuse and more risky sexual behaviour.
METHODS: Profiles of EC users one and six years after deregulation were analysed with regard to age, contraceptive methods used, reasons for EC use, and last contact with a gynaecologist. Data were collected from a centrally located pharmacy. Written official assessment forms concerning 1500 women (750 in 2004 and 750 in 2009) were analysed.
RESULTS: Free access to EC use had no impact on regular contraceptive behaviour. The percentage of pill and condom users was very high (85%). The percentage of EC-users without any contraception (17-18%) was the same over the years. In 2009, condom rupture was reported more frequently (p < 0.001). In addition significantly more women had used EC previously in their history.
CONCLUSION: Free access to EC has not resulted in less use of efficient contraceptive methods. In the context of falling abortion rates our results are reassuring. This also applies to adolescents, who mainly used EC as a back-up method and seldom in the context of unprotected intercourse.

Abstract

OBJECTIVES: Emergency contraception (EC) has been freely accessible in Swiss pharmacies since November 2002. Today some groups are still concerned that free access might result in less use of efficient contraceptive methods, overuse and more risky sexual behaviour.
METHODS: Profiles of EC users one and six years after deregulation were analysed with regard to age, contraceptive methods used, reasons for EC use, and last contact with a gynaecologist. Data were collected from a centrally located pharmacy. Written official assessment forms concerning 1500 women (750 in 2004 and 750 in 2009) were analysed.
RESULTS: Free access to EC use had no impact on regular contraceptive behaviour. The percentage of pill and condom users was very high (85%). The percentage of EC-users without any contraception (17-18%) was the same over the years. In 2009, condom rupture was reported more frequently (p < 0.001). In addition significantly more women had used EC previously in their history.
CONCLUSION: Free access to EC has not resulted in less use of efficient contraceptive methods. In the context of falling abortion rates our results are reassuring. This also applies to adolescents, who mainly used EC as a back-up method and seldom in the context of unprotected intercourse.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > Epidemiology, Biostatistics and Prevention Institute (EBPI)
04 Faculty of Medicine > University Hospital Zurich > Clinic for Reproductive Endocrinology
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Language:English
Date:2012
Deposited On:22 Oct 2012 13:56
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 16:01
Publisher:Informa Healthcare
ISSN:1362-5187
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.3109/13625187.2012.661108
PubMed ID:22497265

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