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Emergency contraception might offer peace of mind, doesn't change big picture

March 18, 2010 |  1:35 pm

Planb Women with a stash of emergency contraceptives likely would have lower pregnancy rates, one might think, as they wouldn't be faced with the sometimes overly daunting task of trying to find the medications when time is of the essence. Those same women also might be more likely to engage in unprotected sex, similar thinking might hold, as they wouldn't have to worry about at least one reason for using condoms.

But such thoughts would be incorrect, says a featured research review from the Cochrane Library.

Here's the summary. It notes that women with emergency contraception on hand are more likely to use the drugs, yes, but widespread effects are hard to find.

In another featured research review: Antidepressants can effectively treat depression in physically ill people.

Duh, you say?

Maybe. The point is, in analyzing the data, sometimes researchers get expected results; sometimes they get unexpected results. The risk comes from assumptions beforehand. The Cochrane Reviews help separate assumptions from evidence.

Read more about the reviews here. Then take a spin through the library. You never know what assumption-busting results you may find.

-- Tami Dennis

Photo: Emergency contraception, shown here in one of its forms, can be hard to get when women most need it. 

Credit: AFP / Getty Images