Advancing Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights
Family Planning Perspectives
Volume 27, Number 4, July/August 1995

Knowledge and Perceptions of Emergency Contraceptive Pills Among a College-Age Population: A Qualitative Approach

By Cynthia Harper and Charlotte Ellertson

Results from focus-group discussions with a population of university students who have convenient access to emergency contraceptive pills show that basic awareness about this method is high, although specific knowledge on appropriate use, such as the time limit for use, the level of effectiveness and the possible side effects, is lacking. Approval of the method is widespread among both female and male students, although students did voice anxieties about irresponsible use and the lack of protection against the human immunodeficiency virus and other sexually transmitted diseases. Many of their concerns stem from incomplete information about how the regimen works. Students noted how rarely emergency contraceptive pills are discussed, and were curious to know more. They asked for routine education on the method, as well as more general discussion.

(Family Planning Perspectives, 27:149-154, 1995)

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