Women afraid to ask for emergency Pill

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The Independent Online
WOMEN too embarrassed to ask their own GPs for the emergency Pill are often refused it by casualty doctors. According to a new survey, 40 per cent always refuse to prescribe, forcing some women to travel long distances to get the emergency Pill from hospitals that will provide it.

The results of the survey, reported in this weekend's British Medical Journal, will fuel calls for the emergency Pill to be deregulated so that women can get supplies without having to visit casualty units.

Dr Geraint Evans, clinical director in the accident and emergency department at Bromley Hospital in Kent, one of the team reporting the survey, said: "We are aware some women are embarrassed about approaching their doctor. They are often in their teens or twenties and either worried about their parents being informed or embarrassed about what their GP will think of them. There is no doubt they are seeking anonymity."

He says there is also confusion among a lot of women about the emergency Pill. "Because it is called the morning-after Pill, many women don't realise they have got 72 hours. Even if they have unprotected sex on Friday night they can still get treatment on Monday morning," he said.

There have been a number of calls for the emergency Pill to be deregulated so that it can be obtained from pharmacies.

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