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REVIEW ARTICLE
Year : 2014  |  Volume : 140  |  Issue : 7  |  Page : 45-52

Emergency contraception - Potential for women's health


Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, India

Correspondence Address:
Suneeta Mittal
Director & Head, Department of Obstetrics & Gynaecology, Fortis Memorial Research Institute (FMRI) Sector 44, Opposite HUDA City Centre, Gurgaon 122 002, Haryana
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


PMID: 25673542

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Emergency contraception (EC) is a safe and effective method which is used to prevent unwanted pregnancy after unprotected sexual intercourse. Many of the unwanted pregnancies end in unsafe abortions. The search for an ideal contraceptive, which does not interfere with spontaneity or pleasure of the sexual act, yet effectively controls the fertility, is still continuing. Numerous contraceptive techniques are available, yet contraceptive coverage continues to be poor in India. Thus, even when not planning for a pregnancy, exposure to unprotected sex takes place often, necessitating the use of emergency contraception. This need may also arise due to failure of contraceptive method being used (condom rupture, diaphragm slippage, forgotten oral pills) or following sexual assault. Emergency contraception is an intervention that can prevent a large number of unwanted pregnancies resulting from failure of regular contraception or unplanned sexual activity, which in turn helps in reducing the maternal mortality and morbidity due to unsafe abortions. However, a concern has been expressed regarding repeated and indiscriminate usage of e-pill, currently the rational use of emergency contraception is being promoted as it is expected to make a significant dent in reducing the number of unwanted pregnancies and unsafe abortions. In fact, since the introduction of emergency contraception, the contribution of unsafe abortion towards maternal mortality has declined from 13 to 8 per cent.


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