What is the safest and most effective form of emergency contraception available in the United States?
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Oral progestational therapy is more effective and better tolerated than combined hormonal therapy. A single 1.5-mg dose of levonorgestrel within 120 hours of unprotected intercourse is comparable in efficacy to split-dose levonorgestrel for emergency contraception, but is associated with more headaches. (SOR A, based on a meta-analysis.) Insertion of a copper-containing intrauterine device (IUD) is also effective and provides long-term contraception, but may need to be avoided in women at risk for certain health conditions (eg, sexually transmitted diseases). (SOR B, based on a Cochrane review of a single randomized trial and extrapolation of a randomized trial.)
Evidence Based Practice 13(6): 14.