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American Public Health Association
133rd Annual Meeting & Exposition
December 10-14, 2005
Philadelphia, PA
APHA 2005
3307.0: Monday, December 12, 2005 - 3:15 PM

Abstract #116904

Sexual practices before and after EC use

Toni L. Felice, PhD1, Janet Adams, PhD1, Kay A. Armstrong, MS2, Paul G. Whittaker, DPhil3, and Matthew Berger, MA4. (1) Applied Research Department, Family Health Council, Inc., 960 Penn Avenue, Suite 600, Pittsburgh, PA 15222, (412) 288-2130, tfelice@fhcinc.org, (2) Public Health Consultant, 645 Harper Ave, Drexel Hill, PA 19026, (3) Family Planning Council, 260 S. Broad St., Suite 1000, Philadelphia, PA 19102, (4) Research Department, Family Planning Council, 260 South Broad Street, Suite 1000, Philadelphia, PA 19102

Half of all unintended pregnancies in the U.S. could be averted if emergency contraception (EC) were readily available and used. However, some worry that easily accessible EC will increase sexual risk-taking resulting in increased unintended pregnancies and STIs. A recent study asking women about their sexual practices at enrollment and six months later indicated that this is not the case. We explore this issue with data from a longitudinal EC study in which 1079 women were enrolled in nine family planning clinics in southeastern and western Pennsylvania. Participants completed an enrollment interview, were given pagers, and asked to complete a monthly automated questionnaire about their sexual practices over 18 months. Of those enrolled, 819 women completed at least one automated questionnaire and 116 reported EC use during the study period. We compared unprotected sex frequency, method choice, and method consistency for women who used EC during the study and women who did not. We compared unprotected sex frequency at enrollment, the month before using EC, the month EC was used, and the month following for EC users who completed these measures. We compared EC users' and non-EC users' clinical records for STI and pregnancy results. Preliminary results indicate that EC is underused and unprotected sex is a common event. Only 18% of participants used EC prior to enrollment and 15% of those completing at least one phone call used EC during the study. Approximately 30% of participants reported unprotected sex at least once in the 30 days prior to enrollment.

Learning Objectives:

Keywords: Contraception, Risk Taking Behavior

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

I wish to disclose that I have NO financial interests or other relationship with the manufactures of commercial products, suppliers of commercial services or commercial supporters.

[ Recorded presentation ] Recorded presentation

Emergency Contraceptives: Practices and Issues

The 133rd Annual Meeting & Exposition (December 10-14, 2005) of APHA