Emergency contraception: knowledge and attitudes of family medicine providers.
BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: Emergency contraception (EC) is an underutilized method of preventing unplanned pregnancy. This study assessed family physicians' and nurse providers' knowledge, attitudes, and beliefs about EC. METHODS: A cross-sectional survey was distributed to faculty, residents, and clinic nurses in a Midwestern department of family medicine. Data were analyzed using Statistical Package for the Social Sciences. Statistical significance was tested by chi-square test, Student's t test, and Mann-Whitney U test where appropriate. RESULTS: Seventy-eight providers participated (response rate 81%). Seventy-four percent of physicians have prescribed EC in the past, with an average of 3.2 (range 0-10) times in the last year. The majority of providers reported that they were familiar with indications (96%) and protocols (78%) for prescribing EC, yet knowledge inaccuracies were identified. Overall attitudes regarding EC were positive. CONCLUSIONS: Although the majority of participating providers were willing to prescribe EC and had generally favorable attitudes toward it, rates of providing this therapy were low. There was a discrepancy between providers' perceived and actual knowledge about EC. Interventions targeting misunderstandings might help reduce missed opportunities to provide EC. (+info)
Mechanisms of action of mifepristone and levonorgestrel when used for emergency contraception.
An emergency contraceptive method is used after coitus but before pregnancy occurs. The use of emergency contraception is largely under-utilized worldwide. One of the main barriers to widespread use is concern about the mechanism of action. Recently, treatment with either 10 mg mifepristone or 1.5 mg of levonorgestrel has emerged as the most effective hormonal method for emergency contraception with very low side-effects. However, the knowledge of the mechanism of action of mifepristone and levonorgestrel in humans, when used for contraceptive purposes and especially for emergency contraception, remains incomplete. The objective of this review is to summarize available data on the effects of mifepristone and levonorgestrel on female reproductive functions relevant to the emergency use of the compounds. When summarized, available data from studies in humans indicate that the contraceptive effects of both levonorgestrel and mifepristone, when used in single low doses for emergency contraception, involve either blockade or delay of ovulation, due to either prevention or delay of the LH surge, rather than to inhibition of implantation. (+info)
Effect of advanced provision of emergency contraception on women's contraceptive behaviour: a randomized controlled trial.
BACKGROUND: Emergency contraception (EC) can prevent pregnancy but is under-used. Advanced provision increases use but the effect on contraceptive behaviour varies. METHODS: Women aged 18-45 years, using less effective contraceptives, were randomized to either advanced provision of three courses of EC (intervention) or to obtaining each course from clinic (control). EC use and contraceptive behaviour were monitored for 1 year. RESULTS: In all, 1030 women were recruited in 6 months. The mean+/-SD number of courses of EC used in intervention versus control group was 0.56+/-1.2 versus 0.20+/-0.6 (P<0.001). In the intervention group, 47% women aged <26 years used at least one course of EC compared with 23% of older women (P<0.001). The majority of women used condoms before (intervention 89%, control 91%) and during the study (89% for both groups). Consistency of contraceptive use was higher during the study (65 versus 60% of women in both groups) (P<0.001). There were 17 unplanned pregnancies, eight in the intervention group, six of whom did not use EC in the conception cycle. CONCLUSIONS: Advanced provision increases EC use especially among young women in Hong Kong. Contraceptive choice and consistency of use remains the same even among young women. (+info)
Late follicular phase administration of mifepristone suppresses circulating leptin and FSH - mechanism(s) of action in emergency contraception?
OBJECTIVE: Low dose mifepristone (RU486) is highly effective in emergency post-coital contraception (EC), although the mechanism(s) of action remains unclear. We studied the endocrine actions of 10 mg mifepristone administered orally as a single dose to eight healthy volunteers (aged 20-45 years) during the late follicular phase. METHODS: Serum levels of LH, FSH, oestradiol, progesterone, leptin, mifepristone, cortisol, and gluco-corticoid bioactivity (GBA) were measured before and 1, 2, 4 and 8 h after ingestion of mifepristone on cycle day 10 or 11 (study day 1), and follow-up was continued for 10 days. Ovarian ultrasonography was performed on study days 1 and 7. Similar measurements were carried out during a control cycle. RESULTS: Mifepristone postponed ovulation, as evidenced by a 3.4+/-1.1 day (means+/-s.d.) delay (P < 0.005) in the LH surge and 3.6+/-4.0 day prolongation of the treatment cycle (P = 0.08). During the mifepristone cycle, an LH surge was displayed by five subjects when serum mifepristone levels had declined to 9.5+/-7.1 nmol/l. During the day of mifepristone administration, circulating GBA (P < 0.001) and leptin (P < 0.001) levels declined. On the day after mifepristone administration, mean serum FSH and leptin levels were lower than pretreatment values (3.8+/-1.8 IU/l vs 5.2+/-1.1 IU/l, n = 7, P < 0.05; 28.9+/-6.7 microg/l vs 33.2+/-9.0 microg/l, n = 7, P < 0.05 respectively), and the corresponding difference in the mean serum oestradiol concentration was borderline (452+/-252 pmol/l vs 647+/-406 pmol/l, n = 7, P = 0.056). In contrast to the control cycle, individual leptin levels declined during the follow-up after ingestion of mifepristone (n = 8, P < 0.01). CONCLUSIONS: These data showed that the commonly employed dose of mifepristone for EC delays ovulation and prolongs the menstrual cycle, when given during the late follicular phase. The mechanism of action of mifepristone may include a reduction of FSH secretion via a decrease in circulating leptin. (+info)
Clinical presentation and management of alleged sexually assaulted females at Mulago hospital, Kampala, Uganda.
OBJECTIVE: To determine the presentation and treatment offered to sexually assaulted females attending emergency gynaecological ward in Mulago Hospital, Kampala, Uganda. SETTING: Mulago hospital gynaecological emergency ward. STUDY DESIGN: Prospective descriptive study. PARTICIPANTS: Fifty eight sexually assaulted females were recruited from 1 st March 2000 to 31 st December 2000. They were interviewed, examined, given appropriate treatment and followed up for three months. OUTCOME VARIABLES: Socio demographic characteristics, genital and bodily injuries, relationship to the assailant, and prevalence of sexually transmitted infections. RESULTS: The mean age was 9.5 with a range of 1-35 years. Seventy two percent of the victims were children below 12 years. Fifty percent of the assault occurred at the assailant's home. The majority (79.3%) of the victims knew the assailant and cases of gang rape were only 6.9%. The injuries sustained were extra genital (19.0%), genital (75.4%). The emotional or psychological disturbance was present in 22.4% of the patients. The sexually transmitted infections found included trichomonas vaginalis (1.7%) and syphilis (3.7%). All cases received counseling and prophylactic treatment for sexually transmitted infections. Those in reproductive age group were offered emergency contraception. None of the victims got post exposure HIV therapy because it was not available in the hospital. CONCLUSION: Sexual assault is common in Uganda and is one of the most dehumanizing human crimes against women. It is associated with adverse medical and social problems. There is urgent need to sensitize the community about reporting early for medical treatment after sexual assault. (+info)
Health care providers' knowledge of, attitudes toward and provision of emergency contraceptives in Lagos, Nigeria.
CONTEXT: Emergency contraception can play an important role in reducing the rate of unintended pregnancies in Nigeria. Although it is included in the national family planning guidelines, there is limited awareness of this method among clients. METHODS: In 2003-2004, a sample of 256 health care providers within Lagos State were surveyed about their knowledge of, attitudes toward and provision of emergency contraceptives, using a 25-item, self-administered questionnaire. Frequencies were calculated for the various measures, and chi-square tests were used to determine significant differences. RESULTS: Nine in 10 providers had heard of emergency contraception, but many lacked specific knowledge about the method. Only half of them knew the correct time frame for effective use of emergency contraceptive pills, and three-fourths knew that the pills prevent pregnancy; more than a third incorrectly believed that they may act as an abortifacient. Fewer than a third of respondents who had heard of the pills knew that they are legal in Nigeria. Of those who had heard about emergency contraception, 58% had provided clients with emergency contraceptive pills, yet only 10% of these providers could correctly identify the drug, dose and timing of the first pill in the regimen. Furthermore, fewer than one in 10 of those who knew of emergency contraception said they always provided information to clients, whereas a fourth said they never did so. CONCLUSIONS: Nigerian health care providers urgently need education about emergency contraception; training programs should target the types of providers who are less knowledgeable about the method. (+info)
Emergency contraceptive options available for adolescents.
QUESTION: A 16-year-old female patient came into a clinic seeking consultation after unprotected coitus. What treatments are available if this patient does not want to continue with a pregnancy? ANSWER: Teen pregnancy is a substantial problem. Several emergency contraceptives exist, including the combined pill, the progesterone-only pill, and copper-bearing intrauterine devices. While many teenagers are unaware of these options, this armamentarium is very effective if used early after coitus and when further sexual activity is avoided for a few days. (+info)
Contraceptive attitudes and contraceptive failure among women requesting induced abortion in Denmark.
BACKGROUND: To elucidate how contraceptive attitudes among Danish-born and immigrant women influence the request of induced abortion. METHODS: A case-control study, the case group comprising 1095 Danish-born women and 233 immigrant women requesting abortion, in comparison with a control group of 1295 pregnant women intending to give birth. The analysis used hospital-based questionnaire interviews. RESULTS: Lack of contraceptive knowledge and experience of contraceptive problems were associated with the choice of abortion. This association was most pronounced among immigrant women, where women lacking knowledge had a 6-fold increased odds ratio (OR) and women having experienced problems a 5-fold increased OR for requesting abortion. Further, in this group of women, a partner's negative attitude towards contraception was associated with an 8-fold increased OR for requesting abortion. Contraceptive failure was prevalent; 21% of the women who did not plan to become pregnant but intended to give birth had experienced contraceptive failure. The same applied, respectively, for 45% of the Danish-born women and 36% of immigrant women, who requested abortion. Women who had experienced contraceptive failure were significantly more likely to request abortion. CONCLUSIONS: Immigrant women seem to have more difficulties in using contraception than Danish-born women. To address this problem, there is a need for culturally sensitive information campaigns targeting this heterogonous group of women. (+info)