New research on the Awareness and Perceptions of Emergency Contraceptive Pills Among Women in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo was published in the International Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health journal. This article, co-authored by ICEC’s Melissa Garcia, is the second part of a qualitative research study conducted in Kinshasa, DRC.
The study used a methodology of focus group discussions among women aged 15-35 to examine awareness, and perceptions of, and attitudes towards emergency contraceptives (EC). DHS data for DRC shows knowledge of levonorgestrel ECPs is low, at 18.8%. Results found that women reported employing a wide range of behaviors to prevent pregnancy, with women often using inappropriate products, ex. deworming medicine or antimalarial medicines. Once levonorgestrel ECPs were described to them, and they were asked about potential benefits and risks of making EC more widely available, participants generally agreed that levonorgestrel ECPs could potentially meet their contraceptive needs.
Authors are Julie H. Hernandez, Mbadu Muanda, Melissa Garcia, Grace Matawa, from Tulane University, the National Program for Adolescent Health and the National Program for Reproductive Health, DRC Ministry of Health, and the International Consortium for Emergency Contraception.