In what situations can emergency contraceptive be used?

Following are the situations where emergency contraceptive should be considered:

  • When no contraceptive has been used or totally unprotected intercourse.
  • Sexual assault when the woman is not protected by an effective contraceptive method.
  • When there is concern of possible contraceptive failure, from improper or incorrect use, such as:
    • Condom breakage, slippage or incorrect use
    • Failed withdrawal (e.g. ejaculation in the vagina or on external genitalia)
    • Three or more consecutively missed combined oral contraceptive pills
    • Intrauterine contraceptive device expulsion or mid-cycle removal
    • Spermicide alone at mid-cycle
    • More than three hours late from the usual time of intake or more than 27 hours after the previous pill
    • More than 12 hours late from the usual time of intake of the desogestrel containing pill (0.75 mg) or more than 36 hours after the previous pill
    • Miscalculation of the abstinence period, or failure to abstain or use a barrier method on the fertile days of the cycle when using fertility awareness based methods
    • Expulsion of an intrauterine contraceptive device or hormonal contraceptive implant
  • An advance supply of emergency contraception may be given to a woman to ensure that she will have them available when needed and can take as soon as possible after unprotected intercourse.

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