Despite high rates of contraceptive use, unwanted pregnancies resulting in terminations remain high among young women.
In an article in the April issue of the Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health, Danielle Mazza from Monash University, and colleagues, examine the paradox of high rates of contraceptive use, over the counter availability of emergency contraception and unplanned pregnancy.
"The emergency contraceptive pill has been available to women for over-the-counter purchase since 2004," Professor Mazza said.
"Together with high rates of contraceptive use, this should result in lower rates of unplanned pregnancies for Australian women, but it has not.
"Although women have a high level of awareness of the emergency contraceptive pill, their knowledge about how and when to use it, and where to obtain it, remains inadequate.
"Further research is needed to better understand the role of GPs in helping women to understand their contraceptive options and reduce unplanned pregnancy."