Emergency contraception for midwifery practice.
ABSTRACT Every year in the United States, there are an estimated 3.5 million unplanned pregnancies with nearly one third of these attributed to contraceptive failures. Despite the availability of effective contraceptive methods, far too many women still experience unwanted pregnancies. It has been estimated that emergency contraception, also referred to as postcoital contraception or "the morning after pill," can reduce the risk of pregnancy after unprotected intercourse by as much as 75%. When administered within 72 hours of unprotected intercourse, emergency contraception, inhibits implantation of a fertilized ovum. The most common method of emergency contraception, the administration of ethinyl estradiol and dL-norgestrel, was initially described by Yuzpe in 1977. In the past 20 years, multiple studies have demonstrated the effectiveness of commonly prescribed combination oral contraceptives containing ethinyl estradiol and levonorgestrel. For those women in whom estrogen is contraindicated, progestin-only pills or the synthetic androgen Danazol have been used with comparable effectiveness rates. For appropriately selected women, an intrauterine device such as the Paraguard T380A (Ortho Pharmaceuticals, Raritan, NJ) also may be inserted within 5-7 days after unprotected intercourse to reduce the risk of unintended pregnancy. Despite its success and safety, emergency contraception is underused by women and their health care providers. As providers of comprehensive health care, midwives should provide patients with accurate information concerning pregnancy prevention. For many women, obtaining emergency contraception is an entry into the health care system and provides them an opportunity to be educated about safer sex practices, contraception, and the importance of regular health screening. Regularly discussing emergency contraception with patients at routine health visits will enable them to participate fully in their health care decisions and diminish the physical, psychological, and societal stressors associated with unplanned pregnancy.
Article: Emergency contraception: a review.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: In the Netherlands, many women use a postcoital method of contraception in "emergency" situations. Postcoital contraception started in the 1960's with the administration of large doses of estrogens: 50 mg diethylstilbestrol for 5 days or 5 mg ethinylestradiol for 5 days. In the eighties, a double-blind study compared the original hormonal therapy of 5 mg ethinylestradiol for 5 days with a combination pill containing just 0.1 mg in combination with 1 mg d1-norgestrel, of which two doses are give, the second 12 hours after the first. This method was as effective in preventing pregnancy as the original treatment with high estrogen dosage. Moreover, it resulted in women suffering less nausea and vomiting. One study from Hong Kong indicated that levonorgestrel without ethinylestradiol was as effective as the combination. Postcoital use of an intrauterine device to prevent pregnancy can be used as an alternative to the hormonal method. A recent development is the use of an antiprogestagen pill: 600 mg Mifepristone on day 27 of the cycle; side effects are minimal and the success rate is high. Mifepristone should be registered and made available in all countries for this indication.Contraception 09/1994; 50(2):101-8. · 3.09 Impact Factor
Article: Contraceptive technology.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Contraception is not a modern concept; from ancient times to the present day, human beings have sought to control their fertility. Withdrawal, coitus interruptus for the purpose of avoiding pregnancy, is mentioned in Genesis, and historians, anthropologists, and archeolo-gists describe a wide variety of strategies, including botanical preparations and barriers used for their antifertility effects, in virtually every culture studied. Many societies noted the connection between sexual intercourse and pregnancy, and also identified menarche as a marker for the beginning of a woman’s fertility. Sperm were first described in 1677 by Leeuwen-hoek, one of the most significant discoveries made possible by his work developing microscopy (Robertson, 1990).Draper Fund report 04/1980; 8:10-2.