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Young women described the benefits of having advance supplies of emergency contraception but emphasised its use as a “last resort” rather than an alternative form of contraception

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Q What are the views and experiences of young women who have kept advance supplies of emergency contraception (EC) at home?


A postal survey and qualitative interviews, which were part of the Lothian Emergency Contraception Project (LECP). Only the methods and results of the qualitative interviews are reported here.


10 general practices in Lothian, UK.


22 women (16–29 y) who had received advance supplies of EC (5 courses of Schering PC4) to keep at home in the context of the LECP.


Women participated in semistructured individual interviews that lasted 45–90 minutes and addressed circumstances of EC use, previous experience with EC, and views about advance supplies and deregulation of EC. Interviews were audiotaped and transcribed. Analysis used constant comparison techniques and attended to both the structure and content of the women’s talk. 2 researchers regularly discussed coding, tested the analysis in different sections of the data, and explored deviant cases.


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  • For correspondence: MsS Ziebland, Department of Primary Health Care, University of Oxford, Headington, UK. sue.ziebland{at}

  • Source of funding: Wellcome Trust.