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PLoS By Category | Recent PLoS Articles
Non-Clinical Medicine - Obstetrics - Public Health and Epidemiology - Women's Health

Knowledge, Practices, and Attitudes of Emergency Contraception among Female University Students in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
Published: Wednesday, September 26, 2012
Author: Muhammad Ehsanul Hoque et al.

by Muhammad Ehsanul Hoque, Shanaz Ghuman

Objective

The purpose of this study is to investigate the knowledge, practices, and attitudes among female university students in South Africa regarding emergency contraceptives (EC).

Methods

A cross-sectional study was conducted among 582 female university students who were selected using multi-stage sampling techniques. Multivariate logistic regression analysis was used to find significant predictors for EC awareness.

Results

The average age of the female students was 20.9 years (SD?=?3.0) and 57.2% were presently sexually active. Overall, 49.8% of the participants reported having heard about EC prior to the study. Regarding sexual activities among the female students, 53.2% reported to have sex, and 21.2% of the sexually experienced students used EC prior to the study. Regarding the effectiveness of EC, 29.5% students said it could be used up to 72 hours after unprotected sexual intercourse, and 8% said it could be used just before sex. About two-thirds (61.8%) would recommend the use of EC and 63.2% would use it if they needed. The multivariate analysis indicated that students who were older (>20 years), presently sexually active, and living with their parents were more likely to be aware of EC (p<0.05).

Conclusion

The students’ knowledge and utilization of EC were low. Health education and promotion should be targeted towards these students, and the EC services should be offered on campus.

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