Emergency Contraception in the United States Today

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Emergency Contraception in the United States Today In a world today where unplanned or unintended pregnancies occur in exuberant numbers there is a great need for a solution. Emergency contraception is one that comes to mind. In the United States approximately 3.2 million of the total six million annual pregnancies are accidental, half of these ending in abortion (Lindberg, 1997). Eighty percent of teen pregnancies are unintended, and each year, one in nine young women aged 15-19 become pregnant; more than half become mothers. Widespread use of emergency contraception could prevent an estimated 1.7 million unintended pregnancies and 800,000 abortions each year ("Planned Parenthood," 1998). As of September 1998, the Federal Drug Administration (FDA), which regulates the introduction of new drugs into the marketplace, has approved a total of 10 brands of combination-hormone pill brands suitable for use as emergency contraception pills. For those who are unable to take the hormone pills there is an option of an intrauterine device. Raising awareness of emergency contraception and allowing health care workers to provide emergency contraception pills to patients who may be at need in the future could dramatically decrease the numbers of unintended pregnancy and all the consequences that result. Emergency contraceptive pills are ordinary birth control pills containing the hormone estrogen and progestin. They are also called postcoital contraception or "the morning after pill." Emergency contraception Pills (ECP's) can prevent pregnancy after unprotected intercourse by as much as 75% when the first dose is taken within 72 hours and the second dose taken 12 hours later (Klima, 1998). ECP's affect the menstr... ... middle of paper ... ...ournal of Obstetric, Gynecologic, and Neonatal Nursing, 26 (2), 145-52. Morgan, K., & Deneris, A. (1997). Emergency contraception: preventing unintended pregnancy. The Nurse Practitioner, 22 (11), 34-48. Robles, A. (No date). Emergency Contraception [Online]. Available: http://opr.princeton.edu/ec/ecabt.html [1998, October 22]. Skolnick, A. A. (1997). Campaign launched to tell physicians, public about emergency contraception. JAMA, 278 (2), 101-02 Trussell, J., Koenig, J., & Ellertson, C. (1997). Preventing unintended pregnancy: the cost- effectiveness of three methods of emergency contraception. American Journal of Public Health, 87, (6), 932-937). Author Unknown. (1998, September). Planned Parenthood Federation of America, Inc. [Online]. Available: http://www.pannedplarenthood.org/library/BIRTHCONTROL/EmergContra.htm [1998, October 22].
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