Background Women in UK are able to get emergency hormonal contraception from various sources including general practice, community contraception clinic, A&E, pharmacies and GUM services. Other than the GUM services most other providers are not offering integrated sexual health services so the screening and prevention of sexually transmitted disease (STI) may be inadequate.
Aim The aim of this study was to find the incidence of STI in this group of clients requesting emergency contraception at the time of their visit for emergency contraception and in subsequent visits within 6 months of the index visit.
Methods We did a retrospective review of all electronic consultations in which Levonelle was issued during 6 months from January 2011 to June 2011. 102 consultations were identified by electronic search using search term Levonelle. Data were collected on Excel spreadsheet and analysed.
Results 102 consultations were identified for 91 patients. Median age was 20 (range 15–42), 55% (50/91) were Black Caribbean. On the day of the index visit for emergency contraception, out of the 102 consultations 79 had STI screen (77%). We detected STI in six women (7.5%). Five women had Chlamydia trachomatis and one had gonorrhoea. In the subsequent 6 months, 59 out of the original 91 women (64%) returned to our services. Out of these 59 women, 52 (88%) underwent STI screen. 15 women out of the 52 tested (28.8%) had a positive diagnosis of STI. 9/52 (17.3%) had Chlamydia trachomatis infection, 3/52(5.7%) had gonorrhoea; two patients had both Chlamydia trachomatis and gonorrhoea. The other STI diagnosed were trichomonas vaginalis 2/52(3.8%), first episode genital herpes infection 2/52(3.8%) and 1/52 (1.95%) had first episode genital warts.
Conclusion Women who attend for emergency contraception are at high risk of contacting future sexually transmitted infections and should be advised to have screening for sexually transmitted infection at 3 and/or 6 months. More research is needed in this sub group of women to improve the sexual health of the community.
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