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Times of India
14 October 2010
By Yagnesh Mehta
Surat, India

Only 24% women in Surat have heard of pills, just 1% know how to use them
For a country fighting a grim battle against population growth, findings of a recent study conducted by the faculty of Surat Government Medical College (GMC) are plain shocking. As per the report, only 1 per cent of the women, who were part of the study, were aware about the actual use of emergency contraceptive pills, while about 24 per cent have heard of the pill but are unaware about the use.

Emergency Contraceptives! What Is That?
The GMC’s pharmacology department conducted a study of 152 women who came to New Civil Hospital (NCH) for abortion. Of the, only 36 knew that there was something like emergency contraceptives and, surprisingly, only two were aware about its use.

The women were by and large unaware of the time limit of the contraceptives’ use and from where to source them, the study report said.

The women also had several misconceptions about the contraceptives – like that a prescription is must for procuring them and that the pills may have several side affects including preventing future pregnancy.

Both married and unmarried women approached NCH for abortion. Majority of the women who underwent abortion were from middle class and had at least secondary level school education.

The study was carried between November 2009 and April 2010 by a team consisting of Dr ND Kanthariya, head of pharmacology department, associate professors Dr Priti Yadav, Dr Jaykaran, Dr Anita Sinha and intern doctor Dr Purav Modi.

"A large section of the society is unaware about the availability of something like contraceptive pill. This shows there is a great need to create and spread awareness about the emergency contraceptives," said Kanthariya.

"Only two of the 152 women had proper idea of the use of the pills and how to source them. Interestingly, some women who knew about contraceptives believed that the pills will be effective for many days," said Dr Yadav. Around 40 percent women thought that the pills may affect future pregnancy, the study said.

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