Coil is most effective emergency contraception, says NICE

Women requesting emergency contraception should be advised that a copper IUD is more effective than the emergency contraceptive pill, NICE has recommended.

The recommendation comes in a new quality standard on contraception, which sets out key areas where advice on contraception needs to improve. In 2014/15, 95% of emergency contraception issued by sexual and reproductive health services was the pill, NICE said.

The quality standard also recommends that women should be informed about long acting reversible contraceptive (LARC) methods, including the IUD, when asking for contraception.

Oral contraceptives remain the most common form of contraception, but uptake of LARCs has been increasing, NICE said. In 2014/15 LARCs accounted for the main method of contraception used by 37% of women making contact with sexual and reproductive health services.

Approximately one in five pregnancies in Britain are unplanned. An IUD is effective as emergency contraception for up to five days after unprotected sex or within five days of expected ovulation.

GP Dr Jane Wake, a member of the guideline development group said: ‘The advantage of the coil, on top of being more effective, is that it can be retained and used as long term contraception, some can even be left in place for 10 years.

‘Timing however is essential and women deciding on the coil should make contact with the clinic they have been advised to attend as soon as is possible.'

The NICE quality standard also recommends that women who request an abortion discuss contraception with a healthcare professional and are offered a choice of all methods of contraception when they are assessed for an abortion and before discharge.

In addition, women who give birth should be provided with information and offered a choice of all contraceptive methods by their midwife within seven days of delivery.

Dr Asha Kasliwal, president of the Faculty of Sexual and Reproductive Health said: ‘We hope that this quality standard will help healthcare professionals, service providers and commissioners alike to help reduce unintended pregnancies in their localities, while making tangible improvements in the provision of, and access to, contraception.’

Photo: iStock

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Register

Already registered?

Sign in

Follow Us:

Just published

Redacting information from medical records - advice for GPs

Redacting information from medical records - advice for GPs

MDU medico-legal adviser Dr Ellie Mein provides advice for GPs on reacting information...

Medicine shortages set to continue despite Brexit delay

Medicine shortages set to continue despite Brexit delay

Medicine shortages are unlikely to improve as a result of Brexit being delayed healthcare...

Doctors less likely to be investigated for 'one-off' mistakes under new GMC rules

Doctors less likely to be investigated for 'one-off' mistakes under new GMC rules

The GMC is introducing new measures to reduce the number of full investigations in...

RCGP revokes Sultan of Brunei's honorary title over anti-LGBTQ laws

RCGP revokes Sultan of Brunei's honorary title over anti-LGBTQ laws

The RCGP has revoked the honorary title it awarded the Sultan of Brunei following...

Financial considerations for primary care networks

Financial considerations for primary care networks

Specialist accountant Laurence Slavin highlights the financial issues that practices...

Number of CCGs could be cut by 75% by April 2020

Number of CCGs could be cut by 75% by April 2020

Measures to cut the number of CCGs in England by more than three quarters could be...