How women use EC

woman with arms crossed

Dr Philip Goldstone examines emergency contraception use

In November and December 2016, we conducted an anonymous online survey1. The survey was completed by 512 women of reproductive age (15 – 45 years old) who had not tried to become pregnant in the previous 12 months.

In addition to the findings published in AJP online over the last two weeks, the survey found that:

  • Half (49%, 251/512) of all respondents had ever used emergency contraception and 14% (73/512) had used emergency contraception in the last year.
  • Only 0.6% (3/512) of respondents had taken an emergency contraceptive pill three or more times in the prior 12 months.
  • For the last time they used an emergency contraceptive pill, most women (84%, 210/251) tried to get emergency contraception within 24 hours of unprotected sex and only one woman (0.4%, 1/251) tried to get emergency contraception 72 hours or more after unprotected sex.
  • Nearly half of women (42%, 217/512) indicated that they would be willing to pay a minimum additional $20 for a new, more effective emergency contraceptive pill.
  • When asked to prioritise factors when purchasing the ECP, the vast majority of women identified effectiveness as the most important (76%) or second most important (15%) factor. When all answers were weighted according to priority, the following priority ranking emerged:
  1. Effectiveness.
  2. When EC can be used.
  3. Pharmacist or doctor recommendation.
  4. Cost.
  5. Side effects.

This article is the last of a three part series.

For more information, please contact


Disclaimer: Marie Stopes International in Australia 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.

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


1.Survey data on file at MS Health

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