Knowledge and practice among health professionals concerning emergency contraception


Knowledge and practice among health professionals concerning

emergency contraception

Fathizadeh. N , Fahami . F.

Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, School of Nursing and

Midwifery, Isfahan, Iran

Introduction: Emergency contraception prevents pregnancy

after unprotected sexual intercourse .It can be administered after the known

failure of existing methods (broken sheaths, expelled intrauterine contraceptive

devices and…) or following intercourse without use of contraceptive. It has

been available in the UK since 1974. However, knowledge and practice of this

method of preventing pregnancy seems less widespread than that would be expected

to be and it does not appear to have made any impacts on the rate of induced

abortion, which has risen over the last 15 years. These suggest the unplanned

and unwanted pregnancies carry a higher risk of morbidity and mortality among

mothers and children often due to unsafe Abortion. The risk of pregnancy with

one unprotected act of intercourse can be as high as one in four, depending on

the cycle and day of exposure in relation to ovulation.

Methods: This study is a national cross sectional study

carried out on 154 staff employees at health centers. Questionnaires about

knowledge were given to all practitioners, family planning midwives and family

health members in the health centers in Isfahan University of Medical Science in

1999-2000. All personnel were involved in this research. Medical & Menstrual

& pregnancy history, date of end to use contraceptive method, date of

unprotected intercourse, description of side effect of used ECP for client, time

of menstruation after use of ECP and date for follow up were observed by the

researchers. Findings were analyzed using the SPSS/PC statistical package.

Results: Findings showed that 38.1% of health

professionals were at excellent level of knowledge, 29.9% were average, 20% good,

9.7% weak and 8.4% very weak. The survey of ECP showed that basic awareness

about this method is high, although specific practice on appropriate use such as

time limit for use, the level of effectiveness and the possible side effects

were lacking. 37/7% of health professionals were having poor score practice.

Discussion: Most of health staff were at very poor score

of practice (37/7%). Lack of information causes the staff to have inappropriate

practice and lack of knowledge on practice causes the staff not to function

appropriately resulting in unwanted pregnancy that can induce higher morbidity

and mortality in mothers and children.

Key Words: Knowledge, Practice, Post Coital Contraception,

Emergency Contraceptive Pill.

Scroll to Top