Emergency Contraception Essay Discussion Paper

Emergency Contraception:

A 16 year old reports to the local Family Planning clinic with concerns regarding pregnancy. She relates she had unprotected intercourse 2 nights ago and believes she may be \’fertile\’. She wants to learn more about the \’morning after pill\’  Emergency Contraception Essay Discussion Paper

What additional information should you obtain from her?

What do you know about emergency contraception and the side effects?

What educational points should you provide to her?

You must have at least 2 references and an in text citation

Emergency Contraception or ‘Morning after Pill’: The Case of a 16 Year-Old Girl

Emergency contraception (EC) refers to the act of taking measures to prevent the occurrence of a pregnancy after the act (WHO, 2018). It is usually sought by the woman after having unprotected intercourse or suffering sexual assault during or nearing the woman’s unsafe days. EC has to be taken within 5 days of the unsafe intercourse. Studies show that it can prevent over 95% of pregnancies, with the intrauterine device (IUD) the most effective type of EC available. The others are emergency contraceptive pills like levonorgestrel or combined oral contraceptives (COCs) having levonorgestrel and ethinyl estradiol (WHO, 2018; Gaffield & Kiarie, 2016; Kipps, 2013). In this case, the 16 year-old girl sought to have the emergency contraceptive pill after having unprotected sex within the last two days.


Some of the additional information that should be obtained from the girl includes her menstrual history (duration, frequency, and quantity), family history (history of blood disorders, clotting disorders, breast cancer, and osteoporosis). IUDs are known to cause heavier menses that are prolonged or drawn out. This happens especially in within the first six months.  Family history of clotting disorders, breast cancer, or venous thrombo-embolism is a red flag for the administration or use of the oral contraceptive pill. These are known increase the risk of blood clots, cancer, and thrombo-embolism in those who are at risk due to family history (Gaffield & Kiarie, 2016; Kipps, 2013; Lesnewski & Prine, 2006). These are just some of the side effects that may occur as a result of EC. Some of the educational points that this girl could be provided with is about the use of condoms and abstinence. Condoms are most desirable because they not only protect against pregnancy, but also against HIV and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs) like infection with HPV that causes cervical cancer. Of course, at just 16 years of age the girl would be better off abstaining and concentrating on her studies until she reaches at least the age of 18 years.


Gaffield, M.L. & Kiarie, P. (2016). WHO medical eligibility criteria update. Contraception, 94, 193-194. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.contraception.2016.07.001

Kipps, S. (2013). History taking for women’s contraception. Practice Nursing, 24(2), 78–83. https://doi.org/10.12968/pnur.2013.24.2.78

Lesnewski, R. & Prine, L. (2006). Initiating hormonal contraception. American Family Physician, 74(1), 105-112.  https://www.aafp.org/afp/2006/0701/p105.html

World Health Organization [WHO] (February 2, 2018). Emergency contraception. https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/emergency-contraception

Emergency Contraception Essay Discussion Paper



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