Today we spend some time with Dr. Leanne Free, who is one of Fei and Nick’s co-residents. As a rising PGY-4 at Brown, Leanne is interested in family planning fellowship and shares some of that interest with us today by talking emergency contraception!
Leanne breaks down for us the main types of emergency contraceptives — the copper IUD and pills. Much of the information Leanne shares is really nicely prepared in graphical format on the BedSider website:
One crazy thing we learned: many levonorgestrel EC formulations are available on Amazon! Though buyer beware, as there have been some news stories regarding these to be potentially expired medicines. Additionally, as Leanne states, EC is most effective immediately after unprotected intercourse, rather than the 48 hours it takes for Prime delivery. All levonorgestrel EC should be available over-the-counter without restrictions for purchase based on age, gender, or parental consent.
Additionally, patients can follow the Yuzpe method by taking birth control pills that they may already have at home. This can be useful for patients who for some reason do not have access to the emergency contraceptives we refer to in the podcast — though an annual visit is a great time to review and prescribe these options!