Enhancing use of emergency contraceptive pills: A systematic review of women’s attitudes, beliefs, knowledge and experiences in Australia

28 March 2019

Over a decade after emergency contraceptive pills (ECPs) became available without a prescription, the rate of unintended pregnancies remains high in many settings. Understanding women’s experiences and perceptions of ECPs may provide insights into this underutilisation. We systematically searched databases to identify qualitative and quantitative primary studies about women’s beliefs, knowledge and experiences of ECPs in Australia. Findings demonstrate persistent misunderstandings around access, how ECPs work, and a moral discourse around acceptable versus unacceptable use. Addressing knowledge and the stigma around ECPs use is fundamental to increasing the use of this medically safe and effective strategy.