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J Pediatr Adolesc Gynecol. 2003 Oct;16(5):313-8.

The impact of using emergency contraception on reproductive health outcomes: a retrospective review in an urban adolescent clinic.

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Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic University Health Center of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15213, USA.


The effort to make emergency contraception (EC) more easily available has been challenged by concerns that prescribing EC may tempt adolescents to have unprotected intercourse, resulting in higher rates of pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections (STIs). This study examined differences in reproductive health history and outcomes among girls who were prescribed EC compared with those seeking other reproductive health care. In a retrospective chart review, the subjects (182 total: 92 EC, 90 control) were girls aged 13 to 21 years, 63% black and 31% white, in an urban, hospital-based adolescent outpatient clinic. Pregnancies, STIs, and visits for first pelvic examination and Pap smear were compared for the 12 months before the identifying visit (IDV) and for up to 2 years after the IDV (mean: 10.9 months+/-8.2 months). Twenty-six subjects became pregnant with no significant difference between groups. Control subjects were found to have a higher incidence of chlamydia. Before the IDV, EC users were more likely than controls to have never had a pelvic examination (23% vs. 6%, P<0.002) or a Pap smear (24% vs. 6%, P<0.002). However, 80% of EC subjects who had never had a pelvic examination received one as a result of the initial visit and follow-up related to receiving EC. Using EC is not associated with increased risk for future STIs and pregnancy among adolescent girls. Requesting EC may initiate routine gynecologic care.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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