Analysis of knowledge of emergency contraception by adolescents of a reference center in family planning
ESC Congress Library. Guazzelli C. May 10, 2018; 208097; ESC91
Prof. Dr. Cristina Guazzelli
Prof. Dr. Cristina Guazzelli
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Abstract
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OBJECTIVE: The present study aimed to assess the level of usage and knowledge of emercengy  contraception (EC) among female adolescents from a family planning reference center in São Paulo, Brazil. METHODS: The cross-sectional descriptive study selected female patients (10 to 19 years old) from July 2016 to June 2017. They were invited to participate and signed a free informed consent, voluntarily. In addition, they were explained about the goals and risks involved in the research. Illiteracy and any type of comprehension impairment were considered for exclusion criteria. A 24-question questionnaire was applied anonymously, subdivided in three groups: epidemiologic profile, gynecological history and knowledge of EC. RESULTS: Altogether, 143 patients were interviewed, from which 129 met eligible criteria, and about 75% of them aged from 16 to 19 years old. When asked about sexual initiation, 90 (70%) declared being sexually active, of which 70% had their first intercourse by the age of 14 to 16 years old. Moreover, 32 girls (25%) declared at least one pregnancy. Almost all of them (97%) at least had heard of EC once in their lifetime, mostly from friends (46%), health professionals (20%) and school (17%). When inquired about use of EC, about half (45%) had used the method, from which 69% had used it more than once. In addition, about half of the girls who had used EOC reported fear of getting pregnant and adverse effects when taking the pills. Two of them got pregnant, despite of EC. When safety and risk of abortion were assessed, 56% believed EC was a safe method and 37% considered EC abortive (10% did not have a formal opinion about it). CONCLUSIONS: The study concluded that knowledge of EC is still inadequate. There are still misconceptions about EC, such as aspects of how EC works, its efficiency and safety. There is also stigma involving the wrong concept that EC can induce abortion. In addition, the access of proper information about contraception is still deficient - only 37% of adolescents had sexual orientation from health practitioners and school. Thus, this study revealed the need to broaden disclosure formal information about EC, mainly for adolescents, that are more vulnerable than adults. 
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