June 1996

Case studies in emergency contraception from six countries

Glasier A, Ketting E, Palan VT, Browne L, Kaur S, Xiao B, Garza-Flores J, Vasquez Estrada L, Delano G, Faoye G, Ellertson C, Armstrong E. Case studies in emergency contraception from six countries. International Family Planning Perspectives. 1996 Jun;22(2):57-61.

Largely available in the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Malaysia, China, Mexico, and Nigeria since the late 1960s and early 1970s, the level of availability and use of postcoital, or emergency, contraception vary widely depending upon the prevailing relevant regulations and policies, providers' and women's understanding of and attitudes toward it, and cost. Now, in the Netherlands and the UK, postcoital contraception is an accepted and important part of family planning practice, well-known among both physicians and women at large. In Malaysia, where abortion is strictly regulated, emergency contraceptive methods are marketed legally, but family planning organizations avoid offering them. In China, emergency contraception has long been offered by the government family planning service, but they have not been separated into methods advocated for emergency use only and those recommended for ongoing use. In Mexico and Nigeria, awareness of emergency contraception remains low among both health care providers and the public. Information on these countries' experiences with emergency contraception is summarized. The authors then draw upon the experiences to suggest lessons for other countries seeking to introduce or expand use of the method.