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Morning-after pill leads to higher rates of sexually transmitted infections, study suggests

20 April 2015


It appears that access to morning-after pills leads to higher rates of sexually-transmitted infections

A recently published study suggests that access to morning-after pills leads to higher rates of sexually-transmitted infections (STIs). The study was authored by Dr Karen Mulligan, associate professor of economics and finance at Middle Tennessee State University, USA. [Wiley Online Library, accessed 20 April]

Dr David Paton, professor of industrial economics at Nottingham University Business School, told SPUC today: "It is very interesting to see further confirmation that access to emergency birth control (EBC) does not seem to reduce abortions but leads to higher rates of STIs. This paper is one of the first to explore the mechanisms whereby EBC affects STIs, finding that both rates of 'unprotected' sex and numbers of partners increase in response to over-the-counter EBC.

"Although this paper uses US data, it is consistent with evidence from the UK. In the light of the evidence from this paper, local and national governments urgently need to review their current policy of aggressive promotion of EBC to young people in schools, pharmacies and sexual health centres."

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