Emergency contraception, 70% of women are not clear about it

Emergency contraception, 70 percent of women are not clear about it

Italian women are aware of the existence of emergency contraception (87 percent), but only half know that it should be taken as soon as possible after inadequately protected sexual intercourse, 7 in 10 do not know how it acts and only less than 1 in 10 say that the so-called “five-day pill” guarantees greater effectiveness than the “morning-after pill” more than 1 in 2 are unaware of the prescription requirement only for minors, according to the survey by Onda, National Observatory on Women’s and Gender Health

In hospitals with Pink Stamps and on social channels, Onda’s campaign for clear and correct information on emergency oral contraception begins

“Italian women are not clear about emergency contraception, a “plan B” available in case of inadequately protected intercourse to avert the risk of an unwanted pregnancy and therefore its eventual termination,” says Francesca Merzagora, President Onda, National Observatory on Women’s and Gender Health.

Emergency contraception, Onda raises the alarm

Taking the most recent snapshot of knowledge of emergency contraception in Italy is Onda, through a survey, conducted by Elma Research, of a sample of 757 women aged 15 to 45 years. The research looked specifically at knowledge of this “aftercare contraception,” experience, and access patterns.

The data reveal that Italians have an active sex life, 63% of respondents said they have regular intercourse, and are attentive to gynecological health: 48% underwent an examination less than 1 year ago and 24% between 1 and 3 years ago. Women show general awareness with respect to the existence of emergency contraception (87%), although a gap between the 2 different options is reported: knowledge of the traditional “morning-after pill” is well established throughout the sample, while a good 20% have never heard of the so-called “five-day-after pill,” recently introduced on the market.

Knowledge comes mainly through non-scientific channels, such as the media and word of mouth among friends and acquaintances, which emerge as the main sources of information, indicated by 71% and 65% of women, respectively. Again, the trend of using “Dr. Google” is respected, with 6 out of 10 women citing the Internet as an information channel, indicated by as many as 80% of respondents from the South-Central region. Important is the role of communication in education according to one in 4 women.

What the survey shows’they

The survey shows that even though women know that there is such a thing as “later contraception,” they have
rather sketchy and superficial information about the mode of action: 70%, in fact, do not know that,
to prevent initiating an unwanted pregnancy, the pill acts by delaying or blocking
ovulation, thus having no abortifacient effects. Women are also unclear about the correct time to take them: only half of those surveyed know that the effectiveness of the drug depends on the timeliness of taking it, so it should be taken as soon as possible, and less than 1 in 10 women are aware that the “five-day-after pill” is the one that guarantees the greatest effectiveness.

Despite the fact that since 2015, women of age can purchase emergency contraception drugs without a prescription, still 1 in 3 women do not know that it is possible to do so in pharmacies and parapharmacies, with 9% thinking that it is dispensed only in hospitals, and more than 1 in 2 respondents are unaware that a prescription is only needed for underage women.

Rossella Nappi, University of Pavia

The lack of knowledge stems from the fact that emergency contraception is poorly explained
by the gynecologist during the visit as a viable option when other contraceptive methods
fail or you come into risky situations. This is why you do not understand the
difference in the time of action of the two different pills available on the market and how much it is
important instead to call them the ‘sooner rather than later pill’. The lack of prescription tried to
Address the need for rapid intake to ensure the best effectiveness. Unfortunately
‘Do-it-yourself’ information generates sometimes improper use that does not help women live
sexuality and reproduction consciously and turns them away from real contraceptive planning
Which should always be discussed with the doctor.

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