Emergency contraception

Faculty of Sexual & Reproductive Healthcare


Summary of key recommendations

What methods should be offered to women requesting emergency contraception?

  • Health professionals should discuss individual need for emergency contraception (EC) and inform women about the different methods with regard to efficacy, adverse effects, interactions, medical eligibility and need for additional contraceptive precautions
  • The copper-bearing intrauterine device (Cu-IUD) can be inserted up to 120 hours after the first episode of unprotected sexual intercourse (UPSI) or within 5 days of the earliest expected date of ovulation
  • The efficacy of ulipristal acetate (UPA) has been demonstrated up to 120 hours and can be offered to all eligible women requesting EC during this time period. It is the only oral EC licensed for use between 72 and 120 hours

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