Current Issues in Emergency Contraception: An Overview for Providers

Jennifer Brunton, CNM, MSN; Margaret W. Beal, CNM, PhD


J Midwifery Womens Health. 2006;51(6):457-463. 

In This Article


EC is an important resource with excellent potential to further reduce the number of unwanted pregnancies and abortions in this country. It is safe and effective for almost all women. Several barriers exist, however, to its optimal use. Women and providers lack sufficient knowledge of the method and misconceptions abound, especially regarding the mechanism of action of EC. The need for a prescription and cost also limit the use of ECPs.

It is incumbent on health care providers to supply women with the information they need to make informed decisions about all aspects of their reproductive health care, including the decision of whether or not to use EC. Until the decision on over-the-counter status has been made, practitioners can increase access by lobbying for "behind the counter" status, and by integrating information and advanced prescription access into primary care visits.


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