Giving Emergency Contraceptive Pills

1. Give pills
  • She can take them at once.
  • If she is using a 2-dose regimen, tell her to take the next dose in 12 hours.
2. Describe the most common side effects
  • Nausea, abdominal pain, possibly others.
  • Slight bleeding or change in timing of monthly bleeding.
  • Side effects are not signs of illness.
3. Explain what to do about side effects
  • Nausea:
    • Routine use of anti-nausea medications is not recommended.
    • Women who have had nausea with previous ECP use or with the first dose of a 2-dose regimen can take anti-nausea medication such as 50 mg meclizine (Agyrax, Antivert, Bonine, Postafene) one-half to one hour before taking ECPs.
  • Vomiting:
    • If the woman vomits within 2 hours after taking ECPs, she should take another dose. (She can use anti-nausea medication with this repeat dose, as above.) If vomiting continues, she can take the repeat dose by placing the pills high in her vagina. If vomiting occurs more than 2 hours after taking ECPs, she does not need to take any extra pills.
4. Give more ECPs and help her start an ongoing method

"Come Back Any Time": Reasons to Return

No routine return visit is required. Assure every client that she is welcome to come back any time, however, and also if:

  • She thinks she might be pregnant, especially if she has no monthly bleeding or her next monthly bleeding is delayed by more than one week.
Previous Chapter Previous Page Next Page Next Chapter