Journal Article

Dynamics of emergency contraceptive use in Accra, Ghana

Recent data suggest increasing rates of Emergency Contraception (EC) use in Ghana, particularly in urban areas. In 2018 we collected survey data from 3,703 sexually experienced women aged 16–44 years living in low-income settlements of Accra. We estimated the prevalence of lifetime and current EC use. Multivariate logistic regression was used to assess factors associated with current use of EC. Retrospective monthly calendar data on contraceptive use were analyzed to identify patterns of EC use, including repeat and continuous use, and uptake of other contraceptive methods in the months following EC use. Nearly fifteen percent of women had ever used EC. About half of recent EC users (52%) used EC for at least four months cumulatively within a 12 month window. There was no evidence of adoption of other modern methods in the months after using EC. Our results suggest that EC is a common method for pregnancy prevention in Accra, particularly among young, unmarried, highly educated women. Counseling on effective EC use and strategies that promote equitable access should be prioritized.

Published in a peer-reviewed journal of the Population Council.