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Gaceta Sanitaria

Print version ISSN 0213-9111


ROS, Clara; MIRET, Marta  and  RUE, Montse. Descriptive study of the use of emergency contraception in Catalonia (Spain): Comparison between a rural and an urban area. Gac Sanit [online]. 2009, vol.23, n.6, pp.496-500. ISSN 0213-9111.

Objective: In the last few years, the number of unplanned pregnancies has increased, especially in young women. Among other measures, emergency contraception (EC) was introduced by the Health Department to reduce unwanted pregnancies. The aim of this study was to analyze EC use in Catalonia, and to compare a rural with an urban area (Lleida province and the metropolitan area of Barcelona). Methods: We performed a descriptive study that included 17,149 women of fertile age who sought access to the EC pill between October 2004 and August 2007. Data were provided by the Maternal/Infant Health Program of the Public Health Department. Results: EC was used primarily by women between 16 and 24 years of age, usually on the weekends. Most of these women (78.5%) had used EC twice and only 1.8% had used this medication once. Consumption was higher in Lleida, with a comparative utilization figure and 95% confidence interval of 1.42 (1.35-1.50) with respect to Barcelona. Conclusions: The finding that EC use was higher in younger women coincides with the goal of distributing this medication. EC seems not to be associated with a decrease in voluntary pregnancy terminations. More reproductive information is required from all the actors involved in policies and health interventions, encouraging healthier sexual behavior.

Keywords : Emergency contraception.

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