UPDATED: Medical and Service Delivery Guidance for Contraceptive Pills, Fourth Edition

The Medical and Service Delivery Guidance for Emergency Contraception is one of ICEC’s most widely distributed publications. In 2018, ICEC and partners updated the guidelines to incorporate the newest research and findings. The 2018 Medical and Service Delivery Guidance for Emergency Contraception are endorsed by the International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics (FIGO).

The last time this guidance was updated was in 2012. Some of the new research and data updated include: New details on the hormone UPA and new studies on the influence of BMI on effectiveness are briefly discussed, as well as how ECP regimens work, their efficacy and safety, guidelines on repeat use, and considerations for starting or resuming regular contraceptives following ECP regimens.

Designed to serve as a key reference and training document for service provision, the guidance includes a range of medical and service delivery issues in an easy to use format, from screening, dosages, and counseling to EC pill regimens. The clinical summary of emergency contraceptive pills (ECP) is also available and provides a two-page overview of ICEC’s Medical and Service Delivery Guidance.

NYT Article on how to access EC while outside your country

Yesterday, the New York Times published “Finding Open-Minded Healthcare
Abroad”, addressing the challenges for women and LGBTQI people to seek non-judgmental care when travelling outside their home countries, and providing resources.

The article refers to the country-specific information in ICEC’s Status and Availability database, which can be searched by country and by pill product.

The evolving policy, market and manufacturing landscapes are not easy to keep up with, and we appreciate the inputs from our global members to the database.

We hope this resource will be helpful to you in your work and in your travels.

EC included in new WHO contraception Apps

December 2018. The World Health Organization (WHO) recently launched two new Apps for healthcare providers advising women on contraception.

  • The “Humanitarian settings contraception” App, is intended for front-line health care providers to help women initiate contraception in humanitarian and emergency settings. More information here.
  • The “WHO MEC” App, will facilitate the task of family planning providers recommending safe, effective and acceptable contraception methods, for women with medical conditions or medically-relevant characteristics. More information here.

Emergency contraceptive methods (Cu-IUD, LNG EC pills, UPA EC pills and the combined regimen) are included in the “Additional information” section of both Apps. Check them out and let your colleagues know.

New Journal Article: History of EC in Peru

From December 2017-February 2018, ICEC hosted a webinar series covering a broad range of topics around EC from data and affordably to access in crisis settings.

Following the webinar on Contested Access: EC in Malta, Peru, US, and other challenging environments, ICEC engaged Tina Puig and Brenda Alvarez (Promsex, Legal Program coordinator) to write an article on the history of emergency contraception pills policies in Peru. The article goes into detail on the laws put in place to restrict  ECP access, the danger of an outdated FDA label, and the 2016 court case trying to depoliticize and decriminalize ECP access.

The article The history of universal access to emergency contraception in Peru; a case of politics deepening inequalities, was published in the journal Reproductive Health Matters in November, 2018. You can access it in the link above or on the ICEC Publications page.

Join ICEC at ICFP in Rwanda!

The International Conference on Family Planning (ICFP) will take place soon in Kigali, Rwanda on November 12 – 15, 2018.

Please join ICEC at the conference on Tuesday, 13 November from 11:55 to 13:15 in Room AD9 for an oral presentation, “For her: Improving the linkages to family planning (FP) for survivors of sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV)”.

EC is a critical element of both family planning and treatment for survivors of sexual and gender-based violence. This presentation will also highlight recent initiatives in Kenya.

The presentation is part of a broader panel, “Understanding the sexual and reproductive health implications of gender based violence.”

We look forward to seeing you there!


UN Human Rights Council passes resolution on preventable maternal mortality and human rights in humanitarian settings

On Friday 28 September, the UN Human Rights Council voted to pass a resolution on preventable maternal mortality and morbidity and human rights in humanitarian settings, with some of the most progressive language on SRHR ever adopted by the Council.

The Center for Reproductive Rights (CRR) worked in close collaboration with the core group (New Zealand, Colombia, Burkina Faso and Estonia) and other engaged States, CSOs and UN agencies throughout this process.

The resolution is the result of a long-term push at the Human Rights Council to ensure that the sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) of women and girls affected by conflict are addressed. Emergency contraception is mentioned as part of the need to respect, protect, and fulfill sexual and reproductive health and rights.

New Blog: World Population Day 2018 highlights ineffective and unsafe pregnancy prevention behaviors and practices. What about for contraception after sex?

For this year’s World Population Day on 11 July, our community celebrates and affirms the rights to family planning. The Guttmacher Institute’s analysis , Adding it Up, estimates that globally, 214 million women of reproductive age in developing regions want to avoid pregnancy but are not using a modern method of contraception. A significant proportion of these women—59 million—have recourse to traditional practices and remedies. UNFPA has listed some of these practices in this article and accompanying photo essay.

This phenomenon affects emergency contraception (EC) as well. Recent qualitative research by ICEC, Tulane University and the DRC Ministry of Health’s National Program for Adolescent Health and the National Program for Reproductive Health in Kinshasa revealed that “pseudo” post-coital contraception behaviors and practices exist as well.

To read the full blog post, click here.

Kenya MOH circular to improve EC access for survivors of sexual violence

In April 2016, Zambia hosted a regional technical meeting, “Harmonizing national abortion and pregnancy prevention laws and policies for sexual violence survivors with the Maputo Protocol”. Representatives attended from six sub-Saharan countries – Botswana, Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Rwanda and Zambia – along with regional and global experts, convened by Population Council, the World Health Organization, and the International Consortium for Emergency Contraception. This recent article documents the meeting’s proceedings.

As a result, the Kenya delegation drafted a Plan of Action identifying the objective to broaden availability of emergency contraception (EC) in public sector health facilities for improved access by survivors, and proposed a Ministerial Circular on the issue.

On 7 February 2018, the Director of Medical Services in Kenya has sent out a Ministerial Circular (MOH/ADM/1/1/2) to all the 47 county level ministers of health, county directors of health and all health facility management committees. The Council of Governors (the administrative and political leaders of county governments) have also endorsed the circular, critical since the provision of health services is devolved to the counties as per the 2010 Kenya’s Constitution. The circular is being shared by the county leadership within each of the 47 counties.

The circular’s main objective is to reorganize the distribution of EC pills within public health facilities and clinics to improve access and uptake by sexual violence survivors, 24 hours/7 days a week, free of charge, and as quickly as possible for effective use.

Thus, EC pills will now be accessible and available from additional sites (within health facilities) including outpatient, inpatient, and comprehensive care centres. This broadens availability from the usual channel of family planning clinics–usually in a separate location from outpatient clinics and emergency rooms, and only operating during normal business hours.

The circular also highlights the importance of capacity building and continuing medical education for EC.

Please see additional resources on EC for survivors of sexual violence:



New blog post on recent provider training and client counselling tools for emergency contraception

Emergency contraceptive pills (ECPs) are an important part of the family planning method mix and for post-rape care, being the only effective way to reduce the risk of pregnancy after sex, whether unprotected, insufficiently protected or coerced.  As ICEC’s mission is to ensure the safe and locally-appropriate use of EC in all reproductive health programming, recent investments have been made to support the global health care workforce by improving provider training and client counselling and awareness of ECPs at the global, regional and country levels.

Read the whole blog at this link.

Emergency contraception in the French-language TV series C’est la vie / La contraception d’urgence dans la série télévisée C’est la vie

We are very pleased to share this new resource with you – a storyline on emergency contraception in the television drama series C’est la vie, which revolves around the daily life of a health centre in the imaginary neighbourhood of Ratanga, in West Africa.

Since so few women know that EC exists, the NGO RAES (African network for health education) and ICEC collaborated on a storyline about EC over the course of 2016 and 2017, the story of the characters Rachel and Julien. Episode 22 is now available online via TV5Afrique.
We also produced a discussion guide (in French), which can be used to lead community  discussions about the topics in the show.

For English listeners, subtitles are available on this Youtube link here.

Il nous fait un grand plaisir de vous partager une nouvelle ressource – une intrigue sur la contraception d’urgence dans la série télévisée C’est la vie, qui tourne autour du quotidien d’un centre de santé dans le quartier imaginaire de Ratanga, en Afrique de l’ouest.

Comme le niveau de connaissance de cette méthode est très faible au niveau mondial, l’ONG RAES (Réseau africain pour l’éducation à la santé) et ICEC (le Consortium international pour la contraception d’urgence) avions collaboré ensemble au long de 2016 et 2017 pour créer cette intrigue, maintenant en diffusion en-ligne sur le site internet de TV5Afrique (l’épisode 22). Il s’agit de l’histoire des personnages Rachel et Julien.

Nous avions également collaboré à la rédaction d’un guide de discussion, pour accompagner les séances de visionnement communautaires.

Pour les téléspectateurs anglophones, le sous-titrage est disponible sur ce lien-ci.