Emergency Contraception Toolkit

Welcome to the Emergency Contraception Toolkit. This Toolkit contains fundamental information, evidence-based guidance, and programmatic tools for providing emergency contraception. The Toolkit also provides a range of case studies and reports sharing experiences and lessons learned from implementation of emergency contraception programs in countries around the world. Use the purple navigation menu on the right side of the page or the site map to browse the resources in this Toolkit.

What is emergency contraception, and why does it matter?

A broken condom. Missed pills. A sexual assault. These are just a few of the many situations that lead women to seek emergency contraception. When taken within five days of intercourse, emergency contraceptives can prevent most pregnancies. Emergency contraceptives are very safe, effective, and increasingly accessible around the world. Ensuring broad access to emergency contraception is crucial for improving reproductive health outcomes globally. Emergency contraception not only reduces the risk of unwanted pregnancy, but also helps prevent unsafe abortion and maternal morbidity and mortality.

Several contraceptive methods can be used to prevent pregnancy soon after sex, including a few types of emergency contraceptive pills and oral contraceptive pills. A copper intrauterine device (IUD) can also be inserted for emergency—and then highly-effective, long-lasting—contraception. When used within five days of unprotected sex, all of these methods greatly reduce the risk of unwanted pregnancy; the sooner these methods are used, the more effective they are.

There are many reasons women value emergency contraception:

  • Emergency contraception allows women to control their fertility.
  • It offers a second chance at preventing pregnancy.
  • It reduces the need to seek out abortion.
  • It can be kept on hand in case an emergency arises.

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Toolkit last updated: March 09, 2016