193165 Male Access to Over-the-Counter Emergency Contraception: A Survey of Knowledge, Attitudes and Barriers in Providence, Rhode Island, USA

Wednesday, November 11, 2009: 9:30 AM

Brian T. Nguyen, MA , Warren Alpert School of Medicine at Brown University, Providence, RI
Nickolas Zaller, PhD , Department of Immunology, Miriam Hospital, Providence, RI
Background: No studies have examined attitudes regarding male access to over-the-counter emergency contraception (EC). This study describes male and female attitudes on male EC access, as well as their experiences with and perceived barriers to purchasing EC.

Study design: In 2007, a cross-sectional sample of 303 men and women from Providence, RI between the ages of 18 and 45 were asked their opinions of male access to EC.

Results: 81.8% of respondents knew about EC. Men were less likely than women to know about EC (p=0.002); however their rates of purchase (10.8% vs. 18.3%) were not different statistically. Many men felt they should offer to buy EC if needed (56.1%), that their purchases would prevent unplanned pregnancies (67.6%), and that the decision to use EC was a woman's (75.4%); 73.8% of women agreed that men should always have EC access. No perceived need, not knowing how to obtain EC, and preferring women to obtain EC were frequently cited barriers to male purchase. Only concerns about female user side effects predicted a decreased willingness to buy EC among men (OR=0.15, CI: 0.05-0.45).

Conclusions: Given our findings that men have bought and would buy EC while respecting a woman's decision to use it, and that women would support male access, our study suggests that men have an interest in preventing unplanned pregnancy that considers the health and decisions of their female partners. Avenues for educating more men about EC and its pharmacy availability should be explored.

Learning Objectives:
1) Define the population currently eligible for OTC purchase of emergency contraception in the US 2) Identify who are the key players and what role do each of them play in the purchase of EC? 3) Identify reasons women might be weary of providing EC to men. 4) Identify reasons women might advocate providing EC to men.

Keywords: Male Reproductive Health, Contraception

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a medical student concentrating in women's reproductive health and rights with completed research and activism involving access to emergency contraception. I have also written about the same topic as part of RHRealityCheck, a web forum for reproductive health advocates and professionals.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.