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Emergency Contraception

Yuzpe Method Emergency Contraception

At A Glance:

  • Contraceptive pills can be used as emergency contraception after unprotected sex to decrease the chances of pregnancy.
  • Should only be used after unprotected sex, if another contraceptive method failed, or if no contraception was used.
  • Pills can be up to 88% effective if taken within 72 hours (three days) after unprotected sex. The sooner, the better.
  • The Yuzpe Method is not guaranteed as effective as the daily intake of pills as a regular contraceptive method.

What Is It

Emergency contraception lessens the chances of a woman getting pregnant if taken within the first few days after unprotected sex. It should be taken as a last resort when other contraceptive methods failed or were not used during unplanned sex.

You may want to use it if:

  • No contraceptive was used
  • A contraceptive was used incorrectly
  • A contraceptive was used correctly but was immediately observed to have failed
  • The condom broke, slipped, or was used incorrectly
  • Three or more combined oral contraceptive pills were consecutively missed
  • More than three hours have passed since the usual time of intake of the progestin-only pill
  • You are more than four weeks late for the depo injectable shot
  • Withdrawal failed and ejaculation occured in the vagina or on external genitalia

Emergency contraceptive pills are also called “morning after pills,” which gives the wrong impression that they should be taken the morning after unprotected sex, when in fact, they can already be taken as soon as possible without having to wait for the morning after.

The Yuzpe Method

In the Philippines, the daily oral contraceptive pills available can be used as emergency contraception through a specific method. The Yuzpe Method prevents pregnancy before it happens; it’s a backup plan, and should not be done regularly. If you are interested in taking oral contraceptive pills as a regular method of contraception, consult your healthcare provider to know more. It is also strongly advised to consult a healthcare provider when using the Yuzpe Method.

How It Works

Pregnancy doesn’t happen immediately after sex, which is why preventing it after unprotected sex is still possible. Take note: it can take up to seven days for the sperm cell and egg cell to meet after sex.

Pills prevent the sperm cell and egg cell from meeting and result in pregnancy by releasing a large dosage of the hormones estrogen and progestin in the body. Through this, the egg cell is stopped or delayed from leaving the ovary and traveling to the uterus for fertilization.

The Yuzpe Method lessens the chances of pregnancy to happen if taken within the first few days after unprotected sex; however, how much the chances are reduced depends on how soon the pills are taken after the incident, and at what stage the woman’s menstrual cycle is already when she takes it. The chances of getting pregnant are higher when the woman had unprotected sex during the 2nd or 3rd week of her menstrual cycle; this makes the effectiveness rate not absolute. It’s always better to use a regular form of contraception, such as a condom or the daily oral contraceptive pills.

How To Use It

Do the Yuzpe Method as soon as possible after unprotected sex. Although it can reduce the risk of pregnancy if used within 72 hours after the incident, taking it sooner makes it more effective.

Take four (4) Ethinyl Estradiol 30mcg/Levonorgestrel 150mcg, Ethinyl Estradiol 30mcg/Levonorgestrel 125mcg, or Ethinyl Estradiol 30mcg/Norgestrel 300mcg pills as soon as possible. Follow this with another dose of four (4) pills 12 hours later. You should be able to take a total of eight (8) pills.

Source: Family Planning Handbook 2018 & MIMS

If vomiting occurs within 2 hours after taking either of the doses, you need to repeat that dose. Remember, the sooner the pills are taken, the better.

It’s normal for your next period to be different from normal after taking emergency contraception.

  • It may come earlier or later than usual
  • It may be heavier, lighter, more spotty, the same as usual

You may also feel dizzy and nauseous after taking the pills.

The Positives

  • Pregnancy can be prevented after unprotected, unplanned or unsolicited sex.
  • Offers more protection and peace of mind than doing nothing.
  • Easy to use.

The Negatives

  • Can cause nausea, fatigue, an upset stomach and vomiting
  • Can cause breast tenderness, irregular bleeding, dizziness, headaches (short-term), and temporary changes to the menstrual cycle
  • The chance of preventing pregnancy is higher the closer the Yuzpe Method is used in the time after unprotected sex. Generally, within 72 hours after is the effective period. Beyond that, it cannot guarantee effective protection.

Sources:

Department of Health. The Philippine Clinical Standards Manual on Family Planning (2014 Edition). Manila, Philippines: DOH. 2014. Pp231-239

https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/emergency-contraception

https://www.fphandbook.org/chapter-3-emergency-contraceptive-pills

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986 thoughts on “Emergency Contraception

  1. do i have to experience the side effects to know if it works? so far didn’t experience any side effects, everything seems normal.

  2. Last placebo pill taken: July 21
    Had first day period: July 22
    Had contact on July 26.
    Scenario: haven’t taken the next pack of YAZ pill yet. Is it safe to take the new pack on the 27th of July?

  3. I had my 1st mens july 13 then i had unprotected sex with my friend July 25. uminom agad ako ng 4 pills of trust pill after ng sex namin kc hindi sya nag nag pull out. After 12 hours uminom ulit ako ng 4 pills. Tama po ba ginawa ko. napaparanoid na kc ako, nastress na ako kakaisip kc hindi nag pull out ung friend ko while we had sex. Mali naman tlga ako kasu nagpadala din ako, nakainom din ako nun that time.

  4. Hi, I took 4 Trust Pills immediately after protected sex on Day 11 (July 19) of my cycle and 4 pills again after 12 hours. Through calendar method, it showed that there was a high risk of pregnancy kaya we opted to do the yuzpe method. Now, 6 days later (July 25), I got my withdrawal bleeding.

    1) Is the withdrawal bleeding my new period date?
    2) When can I expect my next period?
    3) Does this mean the Yuzpe method worked?

    1. Hi, Andrea!

      1) Withdrawal bleeding is different from menstruation. Thus, it’s not your new period date.
      2) We cannot predict an exact date when you can expect your period
      3) Withdrawal bleeding is not a sign that the Yuzpe Method was effective or not. The only sign you are not pregnant is by having your period.

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