EMERGENCY CONTRACEPTIVE

Emergency Contraception can be used to prevent unwanted pregnancy after unprotected sex or contraceptive method failure. Methods available include Emergency Contraceptive Pills and IUDs. Emergency contraceptive methods do not cause abortion.

Regular Emergency Contraceptive Pill users should be counselled to use routine contraceptive method.

TYPE FEATURES
Emergency
Contraceptive
Pill (ECP)
  • Emergency Contraception The ECP contains a special dose of
    progestin (Levonorgestrel or LNG):
    may come as one pill (1.5 mg) or two
    pills (0.75 mg). Examples are: Ulipristal
    Acetate (UPA), Postinor, NorLevo
  • The dose (1.5 mg) should be taken
    as soon as possible within 72 hours,
    but can be taken up to five days
    after unprotected sex, or in case of
    contraceptive method failure, e.g.,
    condom burst, failure to take regular
    FP methods, or in cases of rape
  • ECPs are NOT regular contraceptive
    pills and should not be used as a family
    planning method
Emergency
Contraceptive
IUD
  • This IUD should be inserted as soon
    as possible after penetrative sexual
    intercourse but within 5 days
  • It is important to monitor side-effects
    that may occur, as outlined below

Indications

  • All women and adolescents at risk of becoming pregnant after unprotected sex

Advantages

  • Prevents unplanned pregnancy after penetrative sexual intercourse
  • Safe for all women and have no long-term side effects
  • Do not cause infertility
  • Able to have on hand in case of emergency
  • Controlled by the woman

Disadvantages and side effects

  • DOES NOT PROTECT AGAINST STI
  • Potential misuse as a regular contraceptive method
  • Minor, short-term side effects: nausea and vomiting, altered menstrual bleeding, headaches, abdominal pain
    breast tenderness, dizziness and fatigue

INSTRUCTIONS

  • Should be taken as soon as possible after unprotected sex where pregnancy is not desired
  • Can prevent pregnancy if taken anytime within 5 days after unprotected sex (decreasing efficacy
    over this 5 day window)
  • Safe and suitable for all women at risk of an unplanned pregnancy
  • Women on ARVs have to take double dose (levonorgestrel 3 mg = e.g. Postinor 4 tablets)
Note
  • Warn women against regular/frequent use of emergency contraceptive. Advise them to consider using other long term methods