What do the working young girls know about emergency contraception?
ESC Congress Library. Sevgi Ö. May 28, 2014; 50533; A-118
Assoc. Prof. Özsoy Sevgi
Assoc. Prof. Özsoy Sevgi
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Objective: One of the problems with reproductive health in Turkey is unwanted pregnancies. The aim of this study was to reveal what young working girls know about emergency contraception.

Design and Methods: The study was conducted in an occupational education centre in a city located in the western part of Turkey in April 2013. Young people at such workplaces as hairdressers’, carpenters’ and mechanics’ have to receive education lasting for 8 hours once or twice daily in occupational education centers so that they can get certificates for experienced apprenticeship and craftsmanship. These education centers offer certificate programs in 31 subjects and their 152 branches.
The study was descriptive and cross-sectional. The study population included 110 female students receiving education in the spring term in the academic year of 2012-2013 at Aydın Occupational Education Center. All voluntarily participating female students aged 15-24 years and available at the center on the days when data were collected (n=87) were included in the study sample.
Data were collected with a questionnaire and analyzed by using SPSS 15.0 with descriptive statistics and t-test.

Results: The mean age of the girls was 18,3±2,1 years and 95,4% were employed in hairdressers’ and were receiving education in Aydın Occupational Education Center. About eighty-four percent of the girls were single. Three out of every four girls reported that they had a boyfriend at the time of the study or before. Only six girls said that they had an experience of a sexual relationship and four of them were married.
Only twenty-five girls reported that they heard about emergency contraception from their friends, health staff or the media. Seventy-two percent of these girls admitted that they did not know the names of emergency contraceptive methods, modes of their use and when to use these methods. Seven girls, who reported to know about emergency contraceptive methods, listed commonly known family planning methods like pills, intrauterine devices and condoms as emergency contraceptives, which were wrong answers. Forty-seven percent of the girls reported that they wanted to receive information about emergency contraceptives. Sixty-three percent of the girls wanted to learn about them from health staff and 48% of the girls wanted to learn about them from brochures.
Four out of five girls reported that the most important risk of a sexual relationship was sexually transmitted diseases and three out of every five girls said that loss of virginity and pregnancy were the most serious risks.

Conclusions: The study revealed that most of the girls did not hear about or did not know about emergency contraceptives and that those who reported to know about these methods turned out not to have correct information. In addition, about half of the girls reported that they wanted to get information about emergency contraceptive methods. The finding that the girls considered sexually transmitted diseases were the most important risk of a sexual relationship suggested that they might need education about these diseases. Young females who do not have a chance of attending formal education institutions and who have to work can receive education about health education only from an occupational education center. Therefore, appropriate health education programs which will fulfill these young girls’ needs should be designed and offered by health staff at occupational education centers and through brochures, which will prevent unwanted pregnancies.
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