ARHP is sponsoring New Approaches to Unintended Pregnancy Prevention: The Continued Need to Educate Clinicians and Pharmacists about Emergency Contraception,an education program for health care providers. The goal of this program is to improve providers competence and performance in practice to appropriately discuss Emergency Contraception (EC) with women of reproductive age (and their partners) during routine and emergency visits. In addition, the program will facilitate patients access to EC by providing them with accurate information about how, where and when to get and use EC and/or advanced prescriptions.
For more information about the program, please contact Delysha D’Mellow Henry at firstname.lastname@example.org or 202-466-3825.
Among the 62 million US women of reproductive age, an estimated 70 percent are fertile, sexually active, and trying to avoid pregnancy.1 Most women use a reversible contraceptive method, but incorrect or inconsistent use is common—resulting in more than 3 million unintended pregnancies in the US each year . Although difficult to calculate, experts estimate that widespread EC use could prevent as many as 75 percent of pregnancies that may otherwise occur after contraceptive failure or non-use.3-5
Current FDA approved options include:
- Levonorgestrel EC options currently available in the US begin to lose effectiveness after 24 hours, and are significantly less effective by the end of the 72-hour window for which they are approved for use by the FDA —which underscores the urgency for women to know where and how to obtain the medication or a prescription (if they are under age 17).6
- Ulipristal acetate, a new EC option recently approved by the FDA for prescription-only use, extends this timeframe to 120 hours with no drop in effectiveness after 24 hours.7
EC is a key strategy in reducing the high rate of unintended pregnancy in the United States. Despite progressive educational campaigns about EC, persistent myths and misinformation continue to interfere with women’s timely access to this vital contraceptive option. Now, with the availability of new EC methods, we have a unique opportunity to revitalize our efforts to dismantle women’s barriers to EC and ensure that women of reproductive age—and their clinicians, pharmacists, and partners—know how, where, and when to get and use EC.
Program Design and Educational Activities
- Update peer-reviewed curriculum for continuing education
- Four live interactive webinars (archived) designed to meet the specific educational needs of various target audiences:
- Clinicians providing women’s primary and reproductive health care, including physicians, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, and nurse-midwives practicing in obstetric/gynecology, family and internal medicine, and related settings. This webinar will focus on issues related to patient counseling and education about EC.
- Pharmacists, who provide important point-of-service care to women seeking to purchase EC over-the-counter or fill a prescription. This webinar will include information about stocking EC and requirements for selling EC.
- Practitioners in emergency departments, who are often the first clinicians to see women who have been sexually assaulted. This webinar will teach personnel about providing and counseling patients about EC during all relevant emergency visits, not just those related to sexual assault, including regulations for providing EC.
- Adolescent medicine providers, including practitioners in pediatric and family medicine settings, as well as pediatric emergency department personnel. This webinar will emphasize special issues related to teens and EC.
- Update the accredited monograph developed in 2009, currently housed on the American Pharmacists Association’s (APhA) Website.
- Update of content into the Curricula Organizer for Reproductive Health Education (CORE), ARHP’s on-line, open-access collection of peer-reviewed, evidence-based teaching materials
- Update of content into the Method Match Tool, ARHP’s on-line, interactive tool to inform patients about and help them choose the best contraceptive option(s)
Curriculum Learning Objectives
At the conclusion of the medical education sessions, participants will be able to:
- Improve provider competence and performance in practice to appropriately discuss EC with women of reproductive age(and their partners) during routine and emergency visits, and
- Facilitate patients’ access to EC by providing them with accurate information about how, where, and when to get and use EC and/or advanced prescriptions
Components of this program will be designed to meet the specific educational needs of
various target audiences:
- Clinicians providing women’s primary and reproductive health care, including physicians, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, and nurse-midwives practicing in obstetric/gynecology, family and internal medicine, and related settings
- Pharmacists, who provide important point-of-service care to women seeking to purchase EC over-the-counter or fill a prescription
- Practitioners in emergency departments, who are often the first clinicians to see women who have been sexually assaulted
- Adolescent medicine providers, including practitioners in pediatric and family medicine settings, as well as pediatric emergency department personnel
The live and archived webinars session associated with this program will be accredited for continuing medical education, nursing and pharmacy credit hours.
This project is funded through an educational grant from Watson Pharma, Inc.
- Mosher WD, et al. Use of contraception and use of family planning services in the United States:1982–2002. Advance Data from Vital & Health Statistics. 2004 Dec 10;350:1-36.
- Finer LB, Henshaw SK. Disparities in rates of unintended pregnancy in the United States, 1994 and 2001. Perspect Sex Reprod Health. 2006 Jun;38(2):90-6.
- Cheng L, Gülmezoglu AM, Piaggio G, et al. Interventions for emergency contraception. CochraneDatabase Syst Rev. 2008 Apr 16;(2):CD001324.
- Trussell J, Rodriguez G, Ellertson C. Updated estimates of the effectiveness of the Yuzpe regimen of emergency contraception. Contraception. 1999 Mar; 59(3):147-51.
- Fine P, Mathé H, Ginde S, et al. Ulipristal acetate taken 48-120 hours after intercourse for emergency contraception. Obstet Gynecol. 2010 Feb; 115(2 Pt 1):257-63.
- Creinin MD, Schlaff W, Archer DF, et al. Progesterone receptor modulator for emergency contraception: a randomized controlled trial. Obstet Gynecol. 2006; 108(5):1089-97.
- Gemzell-Danielsson K, Meng C-X. Emergency contraception: Potential role of ulipristal acetate. Int J Women Health. 2010 Aug; 2:53-61.