Beyond access: Acceptability, use and nonuse of emergency contraception among young women

Corinne H. Rocca, Eleanor Schwarz, Felicia H. Stewart, Philip D. Darney, Tina R. Raine, Cynthia C. Harper

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


Objective: This study was undertaken to assess the acceptability of levonorgestrel emergency contraception (EC). Study design: We examined attitudes and use patterns among 1950 women in a randomized trial evaluating access to EC through advance provision, pharmacies, or clinics. Results: Most women considered EC to be safe (92%) and effective (98%). Compared with women with clinic access, women with direct pharmacy access were no more likely to use EC within 24 hours (odds ratio [OR] = 1.65, 95% CI = 0.82-3.30) or to report it very convenient (OR = 1.41, 95% CI = 0.77-2.56). However, women with advance provisions were more likely to use EC promptly (OR = 2.43, 95% CI = 1.24-4.80) and report high convenience (OR = 4.25, 95% CI = 2.32-7.76). Advance provision increased use by all women, whereas pharmacy access increased use only among condom users. Inconvenience and fear of side effects were common reasons for nonuse. Conclusion: Women viewed EC favorably. Advance provision improved promptness and convenience of use overall, while pharmacy access benefited specific populations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalAmerican Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • acceptability
  • emergency contraception
  • nonuse
  • pharmacy access
  • use

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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