Emergency contraceptive pills (ECPs) are becoming more popular, yet little is known about the contraceptive preferences of women who take ECPs. They are used when sex is done without contraception, but users want to prevent unwanted pregnancy. Researchers recruited women purchasing ECPs from pharmacies in Ghana. A total of twenty-four semi-structured, qualitative interviews were conducted in May 2008.

Nearly all participants preferred the utilization of ECPs to other contraceptive methods. Although the fear of side effects from OCPs, intrauterine devices, and injectables were deterrents to using those methods, side effects from ECPs were acceptable to this small and highly self-selected group of ECP users. Participants had little knowledge about how other contraceptive methods work and expressed a healthy distrust and dislike of condoms.

The study concluded that study participants loved their ECPs, despite minor discomforts like bleeding, and most had no concerns about repeated use. However, these findings may not apply to women outside Accra or women who obtain ECPs from non-pharmacy settings. Future interventions should dispel myths about OCPs, condoms, and other modern methods and focus on primary contraception education.

Reference: https://srh.bmj.com/content/37/3/146