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Introduction to Emergency Oral Contraception

What is Emergency Oral Contraception?
After unprotected sex, emergency oral contraception can prevent pregnancy. Sometimes called postcoital or ‘morning after’ contraception.

How does it work?
Mainly stops ovulation (release of egg from ovary) but perhaps also works in other ways. Does not disrupt existing pregnancy.

How effective? 
Seems to prevent about three-fourths of pregnancies that would otherwise have occurred. (Average chance of pregnancy due to one act of unprotected intercourse in the second or third week of the menstrual cycle is 8%; after emergency oral contraceptives, 2%). The sooner emergency control contraceptives are used, the better they prevent pregnancy.

How to use Emergency Oral Contraception ?
Up to 72 hours after unprotected sex, the woman should take 4 low-dose or 2 "standard-dose" combined oral contraceptives, and then take another equal dose 12 hours later.

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