Hormonal emergency contraception (EC) is an acceptable means of postcoital prevention of pregnancy, but potential users should have information and education about it before they need it. The aim of this study was to establish how many women and how many men's partners have used hormonal EC and how well the respondents know the correct time to take EC pills. Random samples (393 women and 395 men) were drawn from the Finnish population register. Response rates were 56% for women and 45% for men. Of all responding women and men, 12% had themselves or together with their partners used EC. The proportion of EC users was highest in the younger age group among both women and men. It was greater among single and cohabiting women than among married women. Only a minority of respondents knew that EC pills could be taken up to 72 h after unprotected intercourse. Women who had used EC were most knowledgeable, as were also the younger age groups among both women and men. Awareness of the availability of EC and of its correct use should be further promoted to avoid unwanted pregnancies.