Background: Informed consent in family planning includes knowledge of mechanism of action. Some methods of family planning occasionally work after fertilization. Knowing about postfertilization effects may be important to some women before choosing a certain family planning method. The objective of this survey is to explore women's attitudes towards postfertilization effects of family planning methods, and beliefs and characteristics possibly associated with those attitudes. Methods: Cross-sectional survey in a sample of 755 potentially fertile women, aged 18–49, from Primary Care Health Centres in Pamplona, Spain. Participants were given a 30-item, self-administered, anonymous questionnaire about family planning methods and medical and surgical abortion. Logistic regression was used to identify variables associated with women's attitudes towards postfertilization effects. Results: The response rate was 80%. The majority of women were married, held an academic degree and had no children. Forty percent of women would not consider using a method that may work after fertilization but before implantation and 57% would not consider using one that may work after implantation. While 35.3% of the sample would stop using a method if they learned that it sometimes works after fertilization, this percentage increased to 56.3% when referring to a method that sometimes works after implantation. Women who believe that human life begins at fertilization and those who consider it is important to distinguish between natural and induced embryo loss were less likely to consider the use of a method with postfertilization effects. Conclusion: Information about potential postfertilization effects of family planning methods may influence women's acceptance and choice of a particular family planning method. Additional studies in other populations are necessary to evaluate whether these beliefs are important to those populations.
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