Advertisement

Effectiveness of emergency contraceptive pills between 72 and 120 hours after unprotected sexual intercourse

      Abstract

      Objective: This article reopens the issue of a medical practice that has been well established for more than three decades by proposing an extension of the period during which treatment with the “morning-after” pill is currently prescribed. The objective is to determine the effectiveness of the regimen of Yuzpe and Lancee when it is administered between 72 and 120 hours after sexual intercourse. Study Design: We conducted an observational study comparing 2 groups of women for whom the regimen of Yuzpe and Lancee was administered after unprotected sexual intercourse. One group (usual time frame treatment group) sought consultation within 72 hours (n = 131), and the other (extended time frame treatment group) after 72 to 120 hours (n = 169). Results: The pregnancy rate was 0.8% for the <72-hour group and 1.8% for the 72- to 120-hour group. The effectiveness rate varied from 87% to 90% for the <72-hour group and from 72% to 87% for the 72- to 120-hour group. In both groups the χ2 tests showed that emergency contraceptive pills significantly reduced the risk of pregnancy. Conclusions: Women should be encouraged to seek consultation as quickly as possible after unprotected sexual intercourse. However, if the usual time limit (<72 hours) has expired, the so-called “morning-after” pill should be recommended if an intrauterine contraceptive device is not available. Emergency contraceptive pills have a favorable success rate after 72 hours, with a pregnancy rate that is significantly lower than would be expected if no contraceptive were administered. (Am J Obstet Gynecol 2001;184:531-7.)

      Keywords

      To read this article in full you will need to make a payment

      Purchase one-time access:

      Academic & Personal: 24 hour online accessCorporate R&D Professionals: 24 hour online access
      One-time access price info
      • For academic or personal research use, select 'Academic and Personal'
      • For corporate R&D use, select 'Corporate R&D Professionals'

      Subscribe:

      Subscribe to American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology
      Already a print subscriber? Claim online access
      Already an online subscriber? Sign in
      Institutional Access: Sign in to ScienceDirect

      References

      1. Network. 1996; 16: 14-17
        • Yuzpe AA
        • Lancee WJ
        Ethinylestradiol and dl –norgestrel as a postcoital contraceptive.
        Fertil Steril. 1977; 28: 932-936
        • Glasier A
        • Thong KJ
        • Dewar M
        • Mackie M
        • Baird DT.
        Mifepristone (RU 486) compared with high-dose estrogen and progestogen for emergency postcoital contraception.
        N Engl J Med. 1992; 327: 1041-1044
        • Ho PC
        • Kwan MSW.
        A prospective randomized comparison of levonorgestrel with the Yuzpe regimen in postcoital contraception.
        Hum Reprod. 1993; 8: 389-392
      2. Lancet. 1998; 352: 428-433
        • Webb AMC
        • Russel J
        • Elstein M.
        Comparison of Yuzpe regimen, danazol and mifepristone (RU486) in oral postcoital contraception.
        BMJ. 1992; 305: 927-931
        • Zuliani G
        • Colombo UF
        • Molla R
        Hormonal postcoital contraception with an ethinyl estradiol–norgestrel combination and two danazol regimens.
        Eur J Obstet Gynecol Reprod Biol. 1990; 37: 253-260
        • Gottardi G
        • Spreafico A
        • de Orchi L.
        The postcoital IUD as an effective continuing contraceptive method.
        Contraception. 1986; 34: 549-558
        • Grou F
        • Rodrigues I.
        The morning-after pill: how long after?.
        Am J Obstet Gynecol. 1994; 171: 1529-1534
        • Wilcox AJ
        • Weinberg CR
        • Baird DD.
        Timing of sexual intercourse in relation to ovulation.
        N Engl J Med. 1995; 333: 1517-1521
        • Trussel J
        • Ellertson C
        • Stewart F.
        The effectiveness of the Yuzpe regimen of emergency contraception.
        Fam Plann Perspect. 1996; 28: 58-87
        • Trussell J
        • Rodriguez G
        • Ellertson C.
        New estimates of the effectiveness of the Yuzpe regimen of emergency contraception.
        Contraception. 1998; 57: 363-369