Level of emergency contraception use in the European Union

30% of women aged 16-45 year old reported at least one UPSI in the last 12 months.

76% of these did not use emergency contraception, putting themselves at risk of unintended pregnancy.

11.Web EC after UPSI

The reasons given for not using EC included:1

• Lack of awareness of pregnancy risk

• Lack of immediate connection to EC – did not think about it

• Lack of knowledge about time-related efficacy

• Access issues

• Misconceptions about EC or fear of being judged/embarrassment

EC provides women with a last chance to prevent pregnancy after unprotected sex, yet it is still largely underused.


Women who take EC understand they need to act fast1

Of those who took EC, the vast majority (87%) took it within 24 hours with just 10% waiting until the second day.1 Intake of EC after 72 hours is rare.1


To ensure maximum efficacy, it is important to take EC as soon as possible after unprotected sexual intercourse.



1. Data on file. HRA Pharma Report. Women and emergency contraception in 2012. A European Survey.