Emotional distress in morning-after pill patients

Patients were given 25 mg. of diethylstilbestrol


The self-administered SCL-90 test was utilized to collect emotional distress data on 120 female patients requesting morning-after pill pregnancy interception. SCL prescores were significant in anxiety, guilt and depression factors. The 2-week post-treatment results showed a significant decrease in these factors. This test provides reliable measurement of emotional distress factors in gynecologic GYN patients. The results must be considered supportive for the use of DES interceptive therapy in spite of other clinical considerations relative to its safety.

Emotional distress in morning-after pill patients, US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health, Acta obstetricia et gynecologica Scandinavica, NCBI PubMed PMID: 419959, 1979.

A pregnancy interception study of the emotional distress of young, single and socially advantaged white females from the Family Planning Service Unit of the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania who had postcoital contraception from 10/73 to 10/74 was conducted.

Patients were given 25 mg. of diethylstilbestrol (DES); after 2 weeks, the patients filled up the SCL-90, a self-reporting inventory of common psychoneurotic complaints. SCL prescores and 2-week findings revealed no negative psychological effects from the postcoital contraceptive treatment with DES, despite the somatic side effects experienced by some patients with DES.

These findings emphasize the value of the SCL-90 in assessing impact of an obstetric-gynecologic treatment and the value of DES for interceptive therapy in spite of other clinical safety considerations.

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