Emergency contraception: Randomized comparison of advance provision and information only
Ellertson,Charlotte; Ambardekar,Shubha; Hedley,Allison; Coyaji,Kurus; Trussell,James; Blanchard,Kelly
Obstetrics and Gynecology 98(4): 570-575
Publication date: 2001
To determine whether multiple courses of emergencycontraceptive therapy supplied in advance of need would temptwomen using barrier methods to take risks with their more effectiveongoing contraceptive methods.
We randomly assigned 411 condom users attending anurban family planning clinic in Pune, India, to receive eitherinformation about emergency contraception along with three coursesof therapy to keep in case of need, or to receive only information,including that about the locations where they could obtain emergencycontraception if needed. For up to 1 year, women returned quarterlyfor follow-up, answering questions about unprotected intercourse,emergency contraceptive use, pregnancies, sexually transmittedinfections, and acceptability.
Women given advance supplies reported unprotected intercourseat rates nearly identical to those among women given only information(0.012 versus 0.016 acts per month). Among those who did haveunprotected intercourse, however, supply recipients were nearlytwice as likely (79% versus 44%) to have taken emergency contraception,although numbers were too small to permit statistically significantinferences. No women used emergency contraception more thanonce during the study, even though everyone in the advance-suppliesgroup had extra doses available. All women found knowing aboutemergency contraception useful, and all those receiving onlyinformation wished they had received supplies as well.
Multiple emergency contraception doses suppliedin advance did not tempt condom users to risk unprotected intercourse.After unprotected intercourse, however, those with pills onhand used them more often. Women found advance provision useful.