Thursday, December 28, 2006

Another Study Shows No Decrease in Pregnancy Rates for Women With Better Access to EC [Serge]

I've been a bit busy with other projects, and Scott's been busy blowin up the blog (just kidding Scott), but I've recently been able to continue to research Plan B emergency contraceptive. This study right here is the fourth one that has been unable to show a decrease in pregnancy rates with a group with increased access to emergency contraception. This is pretty amazing, and yet I don't believe anyone has reported on it. Here is an excerpt from the abstract:

OBJECTIVE: To assess how a strategy to maximize access to emergency contraceptive pills would affect rates of pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections. METHODS: Sexually active women, 14-24 years old, were randomly assigned to two methods of access to emergency contraceptive pills: increased access (two packages of pills dispensed in advance with unlimited resupply at no charge) or standard access (pills dispensed when needed at usual charges). Participants were followed for 1 year to assess incidence of pregnancy, gonorrhea, chlamydia, and trichomonas. RESULTS: The numbers of women enrolled in the increased and standard access groups were 746 and 744, respectively. More than 93% of participants completed a full year of follow-up. The incidence of pregnancy was similar in both groups (increased access group: 9.9/100 woman years, 95% confidence interval [CI] 7.7-12.6; standard access group: 10.5/100 woman years, 95% CI 8.2-13.2). Aggregate rates of gonorrhea, chlamydia, and trichomonas were also similar in the two groups (increased access group: 6.9/100 woman years, 95% CI 5.1-9.1; standard access group: 7.6/100 woman years, 95% CI 5.7-9.9). The increased access group used emergency contraceptive pills substantially more often and sooner after coitus than the standard access group. No other differences were noted between groups in self-reported measures of sexual behavior and contraceptive use. CONCLUSION: This intensive strategy to enhance access to emergency contraceptive pills substantially increased use of the method and had no adverse impact on risk of sexually transmitted infections. However, it did not show benefit in decreasing pregnancy rates.
In other words, having greater access to EC allowed women to use it more often than standard access, yet there was no statistically significant decrease in pregnancy rates within the two groups.

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