Women who have been victims of domestic violence or abuse are more than twice as likely to ask for emergency contraception in a visit to a healthcare provider, according to a new study published in the British Journal of General Practice. The authors say their results are in line with similar research conducted in other countries. While this latest study focused on primary care providers, pharmacists, and sexual health practitioners in the U.K., it stands to reason that a similar dynamic would be at play for U.S. urgent care providers, given the easy access and relative anonymity offered in the urgent care setting. The authors found the greatest overlap between asking for emergency contraception and confirmed domestic violence or abuse occurred in women between 25 and 39 years of age. The results are a clue that providers should be extra vigilant for other red flags for abuse in women who present asking for emergency contraception, and probe accordingly.

Are Requests for Emergency Contraception a Red Flag for Domestic Abuse?