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Contraception. 2007 Oct;76(4):273-7. Epub 2007 Aug 28.

Online availability of hormonal contraceptives without a health care examination: effect of knowledge and health care screening.

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Department of Public Health and Preventive Medicine, Oregon Health and Science University, Portland, OR 97239, USA.



The study was conducted to investigate whether the knowledge of women using an online resource to obtain hormonal contraceptives (HCs) without a health care examination is similar to women who obtain HC in the clinic.


Women who accessed HC prescriptions online or through a clinic visit were offered an anonymous self-administered survey regarding the contraindications to and possible complications of HC. Tests of equivalence were used to compare the mean scores between the two populations.


Online users (n=243) were older, more affluent, more educated, and more likely to be insured than clinic patients (n=161). The two populations demonstrated equivalent HC knowledge [contraindications (mean score, 95% confidence interval): clinic 81.1% (77.2-85.0%), online 85.0% (82.0-88.0%); complications: clinic 77.6% (72.7-82.6%), online 82.1% (78.8-85.5%)]. The online population remained equivalent or superior to the clinic population in an age-restricted analysis.


Women who self-select to obtain HC prescriptions online demonstrate at least equivalent knowledge of potential HC risks as women seen in a clinic encounter without a pelvic examination.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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