Knowledge, attitude, and practice of emergency contraception among medical doctors in Port Harcourt
AbstractBackground: The contraceptive prevalence in our environment is very low with attendant increase in unwanted pregnancy and unsafe abortion. The use of emergency contraception (EC) in women with unprotected intercourse could be the only option that can avoid the unwanted pregnancy and unsafe abortion.
Objective: The objective was to assess the knowledge, attitude, and practice of emergency contraception among doctors in Port Harcourt.
Materials and Methods: This is a descriptive cross-sectional study of medical doctors practising in Port Harcourt. Self administered questionnaires were completed by 100 participants randomly selected from medical doctors present at a general meeting in January 2006. Data collation and analysis was carried out with Microsoft Excel XP software and presented as percentages and proportions.
Results: The awareness of EC was high among the doctors in Port Harcourt. However knowledge about its use was poor. Although 98% of them were aware of emergency contraception, 58% could not identify correctly any type. Oral mifepristone (RU486) was the most recognized form of EC identified by 38% of the doctors. Rape would be the commonest indication for emergency contraception as reported by 76% of the doctors, ahead of missed pills by 36% and incestuous sexual intercourse by 46% of the doctors. Postinor (levonorgestrel) given within 72 hours and IUCD inserted within 5 days of intercourse were the commonest forms of EC administered by 26% each of the doctors interviewed.
Conclusion: Although the awareness of EC is high among the doctors in Port Harcourt, the knowledge and use of EC is low. Therefore there is a need to improve both education and attitude to use of emergency contraception among medical doctors in Port Harcourt.