Providing Emergency Contraceptive Pills

ECPs may be needed in many different situations. Therefore, if possible, give all women who want ECPs a supply in advance. A woman can keep them in case she needs them. Women are more likely to use ECPs if they already have them when needed. Also, having them on hand enables women to take them as soon as possible after unprotected sex.

When to Use

  • Any time within 5 days after unprotected sex. The sooner after unprotected sex that ECPs are taken, the more effective they are.

ECPs Appropriate in Many Situations

Emergency Contraceptive Pills Within Five Day CalendarECPs can be used any time a woman is worried that she might become pregnant. For example, after:

  • Sex was forced (rape) or coerced
  • Any unprotected sex
  • Contraceptive mistakes, such as:
    • Condom was used incorrectly, slipped, or broke
    • Couple incorrectly used a fertility awareness method (for example, failed to abstain or to use another method during the fertile days)
    • Man failed to withdraw, as intended, before he ejaculated
    • Woman has missed 3 or more combined oral contraceptive pills or has started a new pack 3 or more days late
    • IUD has come out of place
    • Woman is more than 4 weeks late for her repeat injection of DMPA, more than 2 weeks late for her repeat injection of NET-EN, or more than 7 days late for her repeat monthly injection
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