Prevention is better than cure – especially in the field of sexual and reproductive health and especially in Australia, where the teenage pregnancy and abortion rate is higher than in any other Western country.
Such rates are not inevitable, and recent contraceptive strategies, including improved access to the emergency contraceptive pill (ECP) through over the counter methods, have been developed to help reduced the high numbers.
A recent study of over 600 women aged 16 to 35 years found that although 95% had heard of the ECP and 26 per cent had used it, just under half (48%) were aware that the ECP was available over the counter.
Under half the participants (45%) thought the ECP was safe and most (61%) believed it would damage a pre-existing pregnancy. The study showed that various views and beliefs influenced women’s attitudes towards the ECP. They included moral and religious reasons, fear of side effects and unrealistically low perceptions of pregnancy risk.
Surprisingly, some women thought they were unlikely to become pregnant, even when having unprotected intercourse at the most fertile time of the menstrual cycle.Read more at Monash University