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Indian Journal of Community Medicine

KAP on Emergency Contraception among Medical and General Community of Bhopal City

Author(s): S. Bhadra, S.C. Tiwari, S. Nandeshwar, R. Kakkar

Vol. 30, No. 4 (2005-10 - 2005-12)

Emergency contraception can be used to prevent pregnancy up to 72 hours after unprotected sexual intercourse (postcoital use). The pills used in emergency contraception contain the same hormones as ordinary birth control pills, but at a higher dose. Copper-T intrauterine devices (IUDs) can also be used as emergency contraception when inserted up to 5 days after unprotected sex.

Emergency Contraceptives (EC) is often called the "morningafter pill", but this term is misleading because EC is more than one pill and women can take it up 72 hours after unproteched sex, not just the next morning. Emergency contraception prevents ovulation, fertilization and/or implantation, so it prevents pregnancy from occurring.

Self-administration of various herbs, pepper, cabbage seed1, caustic agents, soaps, vinegar, lemon juice, Coca-Cola2,3, etc. and even dangerous articles like sticks, acids and others has caused damage to lives to many women and their health. Modern research on methods to prevent pregnancy after unprotected coitus began with the use of non-steroidal oestrogen-diethlstibestrol on rape victims4.

The present study was undertaken to understand the awareness knowledge, experience and views of service provider's i.e. person from medical profession (Doctors, Pharmacist) and service utilizers i.e. sexually active group (which actually would utilise emergency contraceptives). Data was collected by conducting survey through structured, self administered pretested questionnaire to medical and general community. Sample size in medical group was 100, which include well-qualified obstretic and gynaecologists, postgraduates and interns, pharmacist and medical students from various medical colleges (MBBS, Homeopathy and Unani College) and equally sample size of 100 includes men and women from MTP clinic, college students (Girls Degree College). The questionnaire was prepared to elicit information mainly to assess the awareness, knowledge, attitude and practices of emergency contraceptives. Background information like age, educational qualification was also collected. Medical group involved 25 medical practitioners, 25 interns, 25 pharmacist and 25 medical students, while general group included 50 visitors to MTP Clinic and 50 students from Girls Degree College. Analysis has been carried out by tabulation of reference groups.

Questionnaire had 20 questions on awareness regarding emerency contraceptives. All questions were having one correct response. Overall awareness scores were determined and was divided into three zones :

(1) Green Zone: (75-100%) = Adequate knowledge.

(2) Yellow Zone: (51-75%) = Have some idea about EC but not conceptually very clear.

(3) Red Zone: (<50%) = Alarming zone with very less knowledge.

Out of 200 subjects 17 medicos and 1 subject from general community had knowledge in the range of green zone, 47 medicos and 14 subject from general community had knowledge in the Yellow zone and 36 medicos and 85 subject from general community had knowledge in the range of Red zone.

Out of 100 subjects of general community 66 were within 15- 25 years and 83%, were in Red Zone. 22 subjects were in age group of 26 to 35 years of which 82% were in Red zone. Nine subjects were in age group of 36-45 years of which all subject were in Red zone. 3 subject were in age range of >45 years and all were in Red zone. Of the 85 literate subjects of which 82% were in Red zone and of 15 iliterate all 100% were in Red zone.

There were 26 males and 81% were in Red zone. 74 subjects were females of which 86% were in Red zone. None were in Green zone.

Out of 25 Gynecologist 28%, 52%, 20% had scored in the range of green, yellow and red zone respectively. Out of 25 interns 36%, 44%, 20%, had scored in the range of green, yellow and red zone respectively. Out of 25 Medical Students 68%, 32%, had scored in the range of yellow and red zone respectively and none were in green zone. Out of 25 Pharmacist 24%, 76% were in yellow and red zone and none were in green zone.

Thus we conclude that knowledge about emergency contraception is poor both in general community as well as medical fraternity. It demands appropriate attention.


  1. Himes N. Medical History of Contraception; Schocken, New York; 1970:521
  2. Dickinson R L. Technicques of Conception Control: A Practical Manual; Third edition. Williams and Wilkins Publication, Baltimore, mayland; 1950: 59.
  3. Peel J, Potts M. Textbook of Contraceptive practice; combidge University Press, London; 1969: 149-152.
  4. Morris J M, Van Waganen G. Compounds interfering with Ovum Implantation and Development: The role of estrogens; Am. Jr. of Obstet, Gynecol.; 1966: 96(6): 804-815.

S. Bhadra, S.C. Tiwari, S. Nandeshwar, R. Kakkar
Deptt. of Community Medicine, Gandhi Medical College,
Bhopal - 462 001 Madhya Pradesh

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