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Emergency Hormonal Contraception.

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Emergency Hormonal Contraception Emergency contraception refers to the contraceptive methods that are used as the last chance to prevent pregnancy for women who have been exposed to unprotected coitus and who do not wish to become pregnant. There are two types of emergency contraception: hormonal methods and the insertion of an intrauterine device (IUD). In this essay I am going to discuss emergency hormonal contraception (EHC) only. EHC consists of a short-course of progestogen-estrogen combination pills (Yuzpe method) or progestrogen-only pills taken within 72 hours of unprotected intercourse. They can be taken any time during the menstrual cycle and if used appropriately the chance of getting pregnant is significantly reduced. The Yuzpe method consists of two doses of 0.1 mg of ethinyl estradiol and 1mg of DL-norgestrel. The progestrogen-only method consists of two doses of 0.75 mg of levonorgestrel. EHC is an important tool to reduce the high teenager pregnancy rate in the UK. By increasing the awareness of emergency contraceptive methods, the costs to the health care and social systems can be reduced and a woman can be spared from the burden of coping with an unintended pregnancy. ...read more.


Because the efficacy of EHC decreases with time, improved access and improved awareness for women is essential in preventing unwanted pregnancies. For the following reasons I believe that pharmacists are well positioned to play a major role in increasing women's access to emergency contraception and in providing counselling about contraceptive methods: * Pharmacists are highly respected drug experts. Pharmacists are well trained in pharmacology and pharmacotherapy and greatly contribute to the health care system by working with patients to ensure that their health goals are achieved by drug therapy; by assessing positive or negative responses to medications from patients; by providing education to patients on proper use of medications and medical services and by ensuring safe and effective distribution of medications. * Pharmacists are also the most accessible health-care professional. 1. If a woman has to go to her GP to obtain emergency contraception that takes too long (doctors say that they need at least 20 minutes counselling time) and can be off-putting 2. Many pharmacies across the UK are open during evenings and on weekends, when the emergency contraception service is most needed, whereas access to other health professionals may be limited To make EHC as a general sales licence (GSL) ...read more.


After checking that a woman (in this case the 28-year-old female) meets the requirements in a PGD, a supply of EHC should be made on request. However the client should be made fully aware of the side effects and warned that EHC is not suitable for repeatedly use and that methods of future contraception should be advised. Information on mode of action, failure rate, and where to get help should the treatment failed should also be provided. I believe that it is reasonable to charge �20 for two tablets although which, in real terms, may cost less than 20p for the following reasons: firstly, to enable pharmacists to provide better emergency contraception services, appropriate training, together with space and privacy in pharmacies for appropriate consultation would be important. Finances would be needed to make all the above available. Therefore the fee should reflect the investment of time and space needed. Secondly, pharmacists need to spend time on consulting with patients, as would doctors, to determine weather emergency contraception is appropriate, therefore they should be properly paid for their professional services during this consultation. Thirdly, charging �20 for this service also comes from the need to make it accessible to all without making it appear to be an 'easy' choice, i.e. if people have to pay they will be more careful. ...read more.

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