Studies of EC web sites demonstrate stark need for online reproductive health information

July 2005

July 18, 2005—Analyses of use of both the emergency contraception (EC) Web site—— and its Arabic-language version demonstrate that women need more information about contraception and other reproductive health issues, according to two articles published in Contraception: An International Reproductive Health Journal.

Questions posted by users of the English-language EC web site via e-mail point to the need for further research on EC-related issues that cannot be answered with the extant medical literature but are of concern to patients, such as bleeding after EC use and whether or not EC use will prevent pregnancy if additional intercourse occurs shortly after treatment.  Many writers referred to intercourse with a hormonal contraceptive but not a barrier contraceptive as “unprotected sex,” suggesting that patients and health professionals may be using the same terms but with far different meanings. Questions sent to the Web site also indicated that many young people lacked sufficient information about family planning, pointing to the need for better counseling and education about contraceptive methods and their efficacy.

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