Emergency Contraceptive Pills (ECP)

Important Note, September 2015: The WHO has released the full revision to its Medical Eligibility Criteria, and expects to release revisions to the Selected Practice Recommendations for Contraceptive Use in 2016. This module will be updated to reflect those changes once the Selected Practice Recommendations are available. You may still use the existing TRP resources, but in the meantime, please consult the MEC Executive Summary, the revised MEC Wheel, or the full Medical Eligibility Criteria for important changes.

This module on Emergency Contraceptive Pills (ECP) is designed for the providers in developing countries who most often are tasked with providing FP services—primarily nurses and nurse-midwives, as well as primary care physicians and in some cases pharmacists—and assumes trainees will have at minimum level of clinical training. The training materials are designed to be used by clinical trainers and pre-service educators with a thorough understanding of adult learning principles and the ability to provide clinical training on ECPs in pre-service or in-service settings.

Designed to actively involve the trainees in the learning process, sessions include the following:

  • a session plan,
  • PowerPoint presentations,
  • simulation skills practice in the form of roleplays,
  • discussions, and
  • clinical practice using objective competency-based skills checklists

Learning Objectives 

By the end of the training, trainees should be able to do the following:

  1. Discuss the consequences of unwanted pregnancy.
  2. Describe the characteristics of emergency contraceptive pills (ECP) in a manner that clients can understand:
    1. What ECPs are and how they work (mechanism and onset of action)
    2. Effectiveness
    3. Side effects
    4. Safety
    5. Possible precautions or complications
    6. ECP regimens
    7. Key points for providers and clients
  3. Describe the indications for use of ECPs
  4. Demonstrate how to screen clients for ECP use
  5. Demonstrate counseling ECP clients including:
    1. Characteristics of ECPs
    2. How to address common concerns, myths and misconceptions about ECPs
    3. How to use ECPs
    4. Possible side effects of ECPs and how to manage them
    5. The importance of starting regular contraceptives after ECP use
Read the Quick Start guide below, if you haven't already—and then explore the tabs at right to walk through the Facilitator's Guide, illustrative examples, presentation slides, handouts, and more—all of which you are free to adapt for your training participants' needs.