Emergency contraception -- also called post coital contraception -- is a form of birth control that may be used by women who have had unprotected sex or used a birth control method that failed.  

There are 2 types of emergency contraception:

1.      Pill form

2.      IUD 

What are methods of emergency contraception ?

The 4 methods of emergency contraception are:

1.      ECPs containing LNG

2.      combined oral contraceptive pills

3.      copper-bearing intrauterine devices. 

Can it be used as a regular method of birth control ? 

The treatment generally is reserved for specific situations and is not a regular method of birth control.

In what situations can emergency contraception be used?

Emergency contraception can be used in a number of situations following sexual intercourse. 

1.      When no contraceptive has been used.

2.      Sexual assault when the woman was not protected by an effective contraceptive method.

3.      When there is concern of possible contraceptive failure, from improper or incorrect use 

Can it be used for abortion? 

Emergency oral contraception is used to prevent a pregnancy,not end one. 

How it works ?

Emergency contraceptive pills prevent pregnancy by preventing or delaying ovulation and they do not induce an abortion. 

The copper-bearing IUD prevents fertilization by causing a chemical change in sperm and egg before they meet. 

Emergency contraception cannot interrupt an established pregnancy or harm a developing embryo. 

Who can use emergency contraception ?

Any woman or girl of reproductive age may need emergency contraception to avoid an unwanted pregnancy. 

There are no absolute medical contraindications to the use of emergency contraception. 

There are no age limits for the use of emergency contraception. 

Eligibility criteria for general use of a copper IUD also apply for use of a copper IUD for emergency purposes. 

What is time frame to use emergency contraception ? 

1.      Pill form – within 72 hours

2.      IUD – within 120 hours 

What efficacy of emergency contraception ?

Studies have shown that ECPs with LNG had a pregnancy rate of 1.2% to 2.1%.

Ideally ECPs should be taken as early as possible after unprotected intercourse.

When inserted within 120 hours of unprotected intercourse, a copper-bearing IUD is more than 99% effective in preventing pregnancy. 

What safety of emergency contraception ?

Side effects from the use of ECPs are similar to those of oral contraceptive pills, such as nausea and vomiting, slight irregular vaginal bleeding, and fatigue. 

Side effects are not common, they are mild, and will normally resolve without further medications.

A copper-bearing IUD is a safe form of emergency contraception. 

What if vomiting occurs after consuming ECP ?

If vomiting occurs within 2 hours of taking a dose, the dose should be repeated.

Can ECP harm fertility ?

Drugs used for emergency contraception do not harm future fertility. 

There is no delay in the return to fertility after taking ECPs. 

Is ECP effective in obese women?

Emergency contraceptive pills were found to be less effective in obese women (whose body mass index is more than 30 kg/m2), 

but there are no safety concerns.

Obese women should not be denied access to emergency contraception when they need it. 

Can it protect against STI?

The ECP does not protect against STIs. 

Can it protect again in same cycle ?

It won’t protect against pregnancy if you have unprotected sex again in the same menstrual cycle. 

You should use condoms until you’re protected fully by another regular method of contraception. 

What if ECP used in patient already pregnant ?

Levonorgestrel will not affect an implanted pregnancy.