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.


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



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747 thoughts on “Emergency Contraception

  1. Hi i followed yuzpe method and after 5 days i experience bleeding i dont know if it is my period or withrawal bleeding, and it lasts for 5 days.

    1. Hi, Kiza! It’s difficult to distinguish between withdrawal bleeding and menstruation. But if it lasts as long as your usual period and the flow is as heavy as well, it may be your period already.

  2. Hi, we had unprotected sex last Friday (April 2), Sunday (April 4) and today, wednesday (April 7). I immediately did the Yuzpe method properly every after unprotected sex. We want to know if it’s going to be effective and safe and what are the possible effects of this. Thank you!

    1. Hi, Korics! As long as you did the steps correctly, it will be highly effective. As for the side effects, all of the common experiences and other information are already indicated in this article.

  3. Hi, uhm this is my first time na nagka aksidente about this and I was wondering if mag wowork parin ba yung yuzpe method even if timing na ovulation mo the day it happened? I hope you can answer this right away po ..

  4. Base Saken Experience
    Jan 18 to 21 Mens
    Jan 27 Unprotected Sex
    natanggal ng condom.
    Jan 28 10am
    inum ako ng 4
    Jan 29 10pm
    inum ulet 4
    So Sumakit ULo Ko Nawalan ako ng gana kumaen. sumakit dede ko after ko uminum ng 4 to 4. No Spotting Sa BUONG FEBRUARY so PT ako FEB.28 Negative naman. PAYO ko po Siguro mag condom muna kayo hanggat wala pa kau regla. MARCH 29 waLa pdn ako Kaya PT ulet ako Pero NEGATIVE na naman. And After All na pag aantay MARCH 31 May Mens Na Po Ako. So Baka di lang 3-4 weeks ang tagaL bago dumating ang regla after taking 4by4 method baka katuLad ko din na halos 2months waLang REGLA. Kaya wag po kayong Matakot or Ma Stress baka ko dahil sa gamot kaya nagiba ang cycle ng regla naten. btw THANKS SA DO IT RIGHT.

  5. Hi, tama naman po gamit ko sa Yuzpe Method. Actually nagkaroon po ako ng withdrawal bleeding days after ko sya gawin. Trust Pills po ginamit ko btw. Ask ko lang po kung hanggang ilang weeks dapat madelay ang mestruation? Nabasa ko kasi na nakakabago po ito ng menstrual cycle. Thank you in advance.

  6. Hi. I had an unprotected sex with my boyfriend last March 28 ng mga 1 am. Kinabukasan around 6:30 pm, I took 4 trust pill and did the same around 6:30 am, that’s after 12 hours. Yesterday, April 03, I had a bleeding til now. And it’s kind of heavy po. Base sa smell, hindi po siya period because it doesn’t have strong odor. I just had my period last 22nd to 28th of march. I’m just scared kung ano po ‘to.

    1. Hi, RJ! It may be withdrawal bleeding, which is a common experience after doing the Yuzpe Method. It’s not a sign whether it was effective or not, and it’s nothing to worry about.

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