Emergency Contraception
Emergency Contraceptive Pills (ECP) are ordinary birth control pills containing the hormones estrogen and progestin. Although this therapy is commonly known as the morning-after pill, this term is misleading; ECPs may be used immediately after unprotected intercourse, and up to 72 hours beyond. The treatment schedule is one dose within 72 hours after unprotected intercourse and a second dose 12 hours after first dose. The hormones that have been studied in clinical trials of postcoital hormonal contraception are found in: Nordette® (one dose is 4 light-orange pills) Levlen® (one dose is 4 light-orange pills) Triphasil® (one dose is 4 yellow pills) Tri-Levlen® (one dose is 4 yellow pills) Use of ECPs reduces the risk of pregnancy by about 75%. This does not mean that 25% of women will
become pregnant. Rather, if 100 women have unprotected intercourse once during the second or third week
of their menstrual cycle, about 8 will become pregnant. If those same women had used emergency
contraceptive pills or mini-pills, only 2 would have become pregnant (a 75% reduction).
About 50% of women who use ECPs experience nausea and 20% vomit. If vomiting occurs within two hours
after taking a dose, the dose may need to be repeated. The long-acting, non-prescription, anti-nausea
medicine meclizine (sold as a generic or under the brand names Dramamine II® and Bonine®) can reduce the
risk of nausea when taken an hour before ECPs.
Almost all women can safely use ECPs. Although some women are at risk of a stroke, heart disease, blood
clots, or other cardiovascular problems should not use birth control pills on a regular basis, medical experts
believe that one-time emergency use of birth control pills by active women (women who are not bed-ridden)
does not carry the same risks. Emergency contraceptive pills require a prescription. Do not attempt to use
them except under the supervision of a licensed clinician authorized to prescribe.
Copper-T IUD as Emergency Contraception
The Copper-T intrauterine device (IUD) can be inserted up to five days after unprotected intercourse or 5 days
after expected date of ovulation, whichever is later, to prevent pregnancy. Insertion of copper-T IUD is much
more effective than use of ECPs or mini-pills, reducing the risk of pregnancy following unprotected intercourse
by more than 99%, and a Copper-T IUD can be left in place to provide continuous effective contraception for
up to 10 years. But IUDs are not ideal for all women. Women at risk of sexually transmitted infections
because they or their partners have other sexual partners may not be good candidates for IUDs because
insertion of the IUD can lead to pelvic infection, which can cause infertility if untreated. The risk of pelvic
infection from insertion of an IUD is slight among women not at risk of sexually transmitted infections. 

Source: http://www.whg-pc.com/webdocuments/gynecology/Contraception-Emergency-Contraception.pdf


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