Characterization of the use of emergency contraception from sentinel pharmacies in a region of southern europe

Anna M. Jambrina, Pilar Rius, Pilar Gascón, Mercè Armelles, Mariona Camps-Bossacoma, Àngels Franch, Manel Rabanal

Research output: Indexed journal article Articlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Numerous studies have been published suggesting that emergency contraception (EC) is used repeatedly, but a lack of information regarding the profile of users makes it difficult to evaluate actual consumer habits. The aim of this study was to obtain information regarding the profile of users who obtain EC and other factors that might play a role, and to provide criteria to evaluate and improve the strategies of current contraceptive programs. This was an observational one-year study based on surveillance data on the provision of EC to women of reproductive age in 60 community pharmacies in Catalonia, Spain. In total, 941 notifications of dispensation of EC in Catalonia were received. A total of 44.2% of users said it was not the first time that they had taken the medication (repeat user). The percentage of users who used condoms was lower in repeat users compared to first-time users (56.7% vs. 64.4%, p < 0.05). A total of 25.7% of users stated that they did not use any barrier contraceptive method. The use of natural methods in repeat users was 53.8% in the subgroup who requested the medication after 48 h, significantly higher than in users who obtained the medication within the first 24 h (p < 0.05). A high percentage of repeat users with risky sexual behaviors were detected, suggesting that new measures must be implemented to provide information for this method, together with educational and preventive strategies.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2793
JournalJournal of clinical medicine
Issue number13
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2021


  • Community pharmacies
  • Contraceptive method
  • Emergency contraception
  • Health services administration
  • Levonorgestrel
  • Ulipristal acetate


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