Emergency Contraceptive Pills (ECPs) are an essential component of women’s reproductive health. They offer women an important second chance to prevent pregnancy when a regular method fails, no method was used, or sex was forced. Research over the past 30 years has shown that ECPs are safe and effective.
Women’s access to ECPs is significantly influenced by the availability of EC products in their setting. A number of dedicated EC products – those that are packaged and labeled specifically for EC use – exist, but women can only access these products if at least one product is registered and/or imported in their country. One or more dedicated EC products should be widely available through a range of outlets (clinics, pharmacies, hospitals, etc.). (In cases in which no dedicated EC product is available, however, off-label use of conventional oral contraceptives for EC (i.e. the Yuzpe regimen) represents an important option).