Use of Emergency Contraception by US Teens: Effect of Access on Promptness of Use and Satisfaction

Alison G. Rubin, Melanie A. Gold, Yeonhee Kim, Eleanor Schwarz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

5 Scopus citations


Study Objective: To examine the effect of policies regarding access to emergency contraception (EC) on teens' promptness of EC use and satisfaction with EC access experience. Setting: Online survey. Participants: Females, ages 14 to 19, who had engaged in unprotected intercourse at a time when they were aware of EC. Main Outcome Measures: Outcomes included promptness of EC use and satisfaction with EC access experience. Outcomes were compared according to method of obtaining EC and state policies regarding EC access. Results: Surveys were completed by 531 teens from 49 states; 58% were Caucasian and 14% were African American. Only 48% of participants reported ever using EC. Teens who obtained EC without a prescription were more likely to use EC within 24 hours of unprotected intercourse (odds ratio = 2.17; 95% confidence interval: 1.06-4.44). Minors who obtained EC in pharmacist-access states were more likely to be satisfied with their EC access experience (odds ratio = 3.05; 95% confidence interval: 1.11-8.35). Conclusion: Fewer than half of participants had used EC, despite being aware of EC at the time of unprotected intercourse. Policies allowing minors to access EC without a prescription may increase timely use of EC.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)287-290
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Pediatric and Adolescent Gynecology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 1 2011
Externally publishedYes



  • Adolescent
  • Barriers
  • Contraception
  • Emergency contraception
  • Plan B
  • Post-coital contraception
  • Pregnancy prevention
  • Reproductive health
  • Teen

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology

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