French version of EC Medical and Service Delivery Guidance available now

The fourth edition of ICEC’s Emergency Contraceptive Pills Medical and Service Delivery Guidance is now available in both English and French. This document is designed to serve as a key reference and training document for service provision of EC. The Clinical Summary, available in English and Spanish, is a two-page overview of ICEC’s Medical and Service Delivery Guidance.

ICEC is very grateful for the support from our community and to all our partners who helped to translate these documents.

DKT International provided the French translation of the full Medical and Service Delivery Guidance, this is the first time this important reference has been available in French. Thank you to DKT International for ensuring the Guidance can be used by our Francophone members and partners.

The ACCEDER Citizen Association (from Costa Rica) translated the clinical summary of the Medical and Service Delivery Guidance into Spanish. Support for the review and finalization of the Spanish summary was provided by our partners the Latin American Federation of Obstetric and Gynecological Societies (FLASOG), the Center for the Promotion and Defense of Sexual and Reproductive Rights – Promsex (Peru); Dr. Raffaela Schiavon (Mexico);  the Latin American and European Consortia for Emergency Contraception (CLAE and ECEC); and Management Sciences for Health.

ICEC Resources Now Available in RHSC’s Online Library

Crossposted from RHSC’s website

Two decades’ worth of resources on emergency contraception recently migrated to the RHSC’s online document repository, the Supplies Information Database (SID). The rich collection of factsheets, briefs, policy documents, and clinical guidelines were produced by the International Consortium for Emergency Contraception (ICEC). The resources are available in a number of languages including English, Spanish, French, Chinese and Italian; regions touched on include Latin America, South Asia, and several countries in Africa.

Emergency contraception (EC) refers to contraceptive methods that can be used to prevent pregnancy after sex; thereby offering women and girls a critical second chance to prevent pregnancy after unprotected sex.

Formed in 1995 as the Consortium for Emergency Contraception, the Consortium’s early work focused on  showing that these “second chance” contraceptives could become a part of mainstream reproductive health care worldwide, given that many unplanned pregnancies in developing countries result in unsafe abortion, exacting a huge toll on women’s health and well-being. Now known as the International Consortium for Emergency Contraception (ICEC), its mission is to expand access to, and ensure safe and locally appropriate use of, emergency contraception worldwide within the context of family planning and reproductive health programs, with an emphasis on developing countries.

ICEC was instrumental in advocating for the introduction of a dedicated EC product and led the introduction of EC in a number of countries. Today women and girls in over 140 countries can buy emergency contraception pills (ECPs); and in more than 60 countries can do so without a prescription. ICEC has also helped establish regional consortia that play an important role in increasing access to EC, including the American Society for Emergency Contraception, the Latin American Consortium for EC, ECafrique, and the European Consortium for Emergency Contraception.

Over the years ICEC has benefitted from engagement in the NURHT Caucus and from support through The Innovation Fund. We hope that by making these resources available through SID they can reach a broader audience and support efforts to advocate for access to EC worldwide.

RHSC’s Supplies Information Database is dedicated to preserving and sharing the wealth of knowledge on reproductive health supplies; this rich collection of EC resources can be found online and is free to access and download.

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!

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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.