Knowledge about emergency contraception among mothers attending OPD at a private medical college in Puducherry

Neelima S. Chauhan


Background: It is estimated that around 15.6 million abortions take place in India every year. There is significant variance in the estimates for the number of abortions reported and the total number of abortions taking place. Emergency contraception (EC) prevents an accidental pregnancy. It prevents a woman from having to go through the trauma of getting pregnant when she does not want to.

Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted to assess the knowledge of emergency contraception among women attending the gynecological outpatient department. A total of 280 married women were included in the study. Data was collected using a semi-structured questionnaire, which included questions on demographic variables, religion, education, knowledge and practices about EC.

Results: Majority of the participants were in the age group of 20-25 years (122; 43.6%). Hinduism was the predominant religion followed by eighty five percent (n=238) of the women. Only 2.1% (n=6) of the women were uneducated while the rest had some form of schooling. Most of them belonged to the age group of 20-25 years (122; 43.6%). Majority of the participants (244; 87.1%) reported that they had never heard about EC. And only 4.3% have ever used EC.

Conclusions: Despite EC being available for more than a decade in India, many women still have not heard of it. Although awareness is increasing it is essential to integrate information about EC in family welfare materials and developing new strategies to increase awareness and share information about EC.


Emergency contraception, Morning after pill, Abortion

Full Text:



Singh S, Chander S, Acharya, Rajib. The incidence of abortion and unintended pregnancy in India, 2015. Lancet Global Health. 2018;6(1):111-20.

New Delhi: Ministry of Health and Family Welfare; 2012. Government of India. Annual Report 2011-2012. Available at Accessed on 20th November 2013.

Mittal S. Emergency contraception - Potential for women’s health. Indian J Med Res. 2014;140(11):45-52.

Consortium for National Consensus on Emergency Contraception in India. Published by WHO-CCR in Human Reproduction, 2001. Available at: Accessed on 23 December 2013.

WHO. Emergency Contraception - World Health Organization. Available from: mediacentre/factsheets/fs244/e. Accessed on 10th October 2015.

Trussell J, Raymond EG, Cleland K. Emergency Contraception: A Last Chance to Prevent Unintended Pregnancy; 2019.

Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India, Census data 2011. Available at http://www. Accessed 24th October 2018.

International Institute for Population Sciences (IIPS) and Macro International, National Family Health Survey (NFHS-3), 2005-6, India, Vol. 1, Mumbai: IIPS; 2007.

ACOG practice bulletin. Clinical management guidelines for obstetrician-gynecologists. Number 112, Emergency Contraception. Obstet Gynecol. 2010;115(5):1100-8.

Abraha D, Welu G, Berwo M, Gebretsadik M. Knowledge of and Utilization of Emergency Contraceptive and Its Associated Factors among Women Seeking Induced Abortion in Public Hospitals, Eastern Tigray, Ethiopia, 2017: A Cross-Sectional Study. Bio Med Res Int. 2019;7209274:1-7.

Rokicki S, Merten S. The context of emergency contraception use among young unmarried women in Accra, Ghana: a qualitative study. Reproductive Health. 2018;15(1):212.