May 2003

Evaluation of an emergency contraception advance provision service

Blanchard K, Bungay H, Furedi A, Sanders L. Evaluation of an emergency contraception advance provision service. Contraception. May 2003; 67(5):343-348.

Timely access to emergency contraception (EC) could increase use when needed, and potentially lead to improved efficacy. We evaluated an advance provision service in the UK. Women were supportive of the service. They indicated that having EC on hand would not change their regular contraceptive use, and supported wider dissemination of information on the service, particularly to younger women. Although some women were supportive of further deregulation of EC, many cited fear of "abuse" or health risks of EC as reasons for strict control. We conclude that advance provision services increase access to EC and are particularly important where EC is not yet available from pharmacists. Providers and women need accurate information on the safety of EC. Uptake of advance provision services could be improved by providing subsidized or free EC to those who cannot pay, and by targeting information to younger women.