(PhysOrg.com) -- Young Australians need to be better informed about the use of emergency contraception to reduce terminations and unwanted pregnancies.
The results of a new study targeting university students showed that while most supported the use of emergency contraception, many were confused about how it worked.
They had limited knowledge about access and availability, as well as understanding of the time frame during which it can be effective.
The study by Dr Helen Calabretto from the School of Nursing and Midwifery at the University of South Australia is published in the June issue of the Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health.
Dr Calabretto is concerned about the term ‘morning-after pill’ which is still commonly used by both health professionals and the general community, as it perpetuates the misunderstanding of when the emergency contraception can be taken.
The study also found that many respondents were poorly informed about the most fertile time in the menstrual cycle, and so were not well-equipped to assess their pregnancy risk.
Dr Calabretto is calling for targeted education programs for both sexes. These should include information about the timing, action and safety of emergency contraception as well as a clear explanation that it will not harm an existing pregnancy.
People also need to be made aware that emergency contraception is available over-the-counter in pharmacies.
More information: www3.interscience.wiley.com/journal/122423644/abstract
Provided by Wiley (news : web)