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Use of IUDs for emergency contraception: current perspectives

Authors McKay RJ, Gilbert L

Received 10 May 2014

Accepted for publication 4 June 2014

Published 25 August 2014 Volume 2014:5 Pages 53—63


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 2

Rebecca McKay,1 Lynne Gilbert2

1Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Peterborough City Hospital, Peterborough, Cambridgeshire, United Kingdom; 2Department of Contraception and Sexual Health, Cambridgeshire Community Services NHS Trust, Cambridge, Cambridgeshire, United Kingdom

Abstract: Emergency contraception is an essential intervention for the prevention of unplanned pregnancy worldwide. The copper intrauterine device (IUD) is highly effective at preventing pregnancy after unprotected sex or contraceptive failure. Unfortunately, its usage in this context is low and far exceeded by hormonal forms of emergency contraception. These have higher failure rates and, unlike the IUD, are not effective post-fertilization. This review aims to summarize the literature surrounding IUD use as emergency contraception, contrast it with the hormonal options, and provide suggestions for increased usage.

Keywords: levonorgestrel, ulipristal acetate, copper intrauterine device

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