Faced with a double-edged risk: Ugandan university students’ perception of the emergency contraceptive pill in Uganda

  • JK Byamugisha
  • FM Mirembe
  • K Gemzell-Danielsson
  • E Faxelid
Keywords: Emergency contraception, Focus group discussions, University students, Uganda


Whereas in high-income countries potential users of Emergency Contraception (EC) have information and access to emergency contraceptive pills (ECPs), it has remained secretive in low-income countries like Uganda. Although several studies have been conducted in relation to EC, few have addressed users’ perceptions. The objective of our study was to explore perceptions of EC by university students in Kampala, Uganda. Seven focus group discussions and four key informant interviews were conducted at Makerere University, Kampala. The transcribed data was analyzed for content and recurrent themes. Participants expressed ambivalence about ECPs. The method was generally recommended but only to the “right people”, in this context being those aged eighteen years and more. There were reservations surrounding provision of ECPs like similarity with abortion and fear of side effects. Users’ and potential-users’ perceptions are crucial in the accessibility and utilization of ECPs (Afr J Reprod Health 2009; 13[1]:47-59).

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eISSN: 1118-4841