Innumerable women across the world have experienced the fear of unwanted pregnancy. Reasons abound--failure of a contraceptive method, inability to observe correct usage of a method, general lack of information about contraception, unwanted sex, or even worse, rape. Emergency Contraception Programs (ECP) significantly reduce the risk of pregnancy in these situations.
Emergency contraception has existed for more than 30 years. Because of its unique position as a "back-up," or "bridge" method of contraception, ECP should be part of every service provider's contraceptive method mix and readily available to women who need it. However, although it has long been understood to be safe and effective, it is largely a missing method because it is unknown to most women and some providers are reluctant to prescribe it. This is particularly the case in developing countries.