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J Clin Nurs. 1999 Sep;8(5):601-9.

Women's experiences of obtaining emergency contraception: a phenomenological study.

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Lisson Grove Health Centre, Plymouth, UK.


Emergency contraception (EC) has been available since 1984 but has been labelled the 'best kept secret' (Winfield, 1995). Because EC was originally termed 'the morning after pill', many people interpreted this literally and missed an opportunity to use the method. More recent publicity has dropped this term and emphasized that the method is effective up to 72 h after unprotected intercourse or contraceptive failure (Burton & Salvage, 1990). Uptake of EC has steadily increased since 1985 but there is still evidence that younger women in particular are least aware of its existence.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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