Should EC be a taboo subject?

Do pharmacists feel EC is a responsible choice? asks Dr Philip Goldstone

In November and December 2016, we surveyed pharmacists in an effort to investigate pharmacists’ awareness and understanding of ovulation and fertility and their awareness and experience when dispensing emergency contraception (EC)1.

The survey was completed by 65 pharmacists ranging from 20-70 years old in various regions of Australia.

In addition to the findings published in AJP online on May 8 and May 19 2017, the survey found that:

  • 100% (65/65) of the pharmacists surveyed feel that EC is a responsible choice to prevent unplanned pregnancy.
  • 72% (47/65) believe that EC should not be a taboo subject or that women should feel guilty about using EC.
  • 5% (3/65) of the survey pharmacists believe using EC demonstrates that a woman has been irresponsible with contraception and 2% (1/65) believe EC empowers women to be in control of their bodies.
  • 100% (65/65) of the pharmacists surveyed have had a request for emergency contraception or have experienced a woman presenting after having unprotected sex and 92% (60/65) of the pharmacists surveyed have dispensed the ECP at some point. Only 8% (5/65) of respondents had not had any request for EC in the last month.
  • Only 6% (4/65) of pharmacists indicated that they would not like more training and education about EC.

This article is the last of a three part series.

For CPD-accredited emergency contraception education and resources, please visit or

For more information, please contact


Disclaimer: Marie Stopes International includes the Dr Marie network of clinics and the not-for-profit pharmaceutical company, MS Health. MS Health is the sponsor of the EllaOne® (ulipristal acetate) emergency contraceptive pill.



  1. Survey data on file at MS Health

Dr Philip Goldstone is the Medical Director of Marie Stopes Australia (Dr Marie and MS Health)

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