Levonorgestrel emergency contraception use: contraceptive
efficiency and influence on the characteristics of the menstrual cycle
Mazibrada I., Sedlecki K., Stankovic Z.
Department of Pediatric and Adolescent Gynecology, Family
Planning Center, Mother and Child Health Care Institute of Serbia, Belgrade
Introduction: The prevention of the unwanted pregnancy is
very important in the population of young people, having in mind possible
physical and psychosocial consenquences of induced abortion that could endanger
their reproductive health and future fertility. Emergency contraception (EC) is
the power tool that could reduce the number of unplanned and unwanted
pregnancies among youth. Unfortunately, several studies pointed out that EC use
is associated with the menstrual cycle disturbances.
Objective: The aim of this study was to estimate the
levonorgestrel EC contraceptive efficiency, as well as the influence of
levonorgestrel EC on the timing of next menstrual period.
Design & Methods: The study group consisted of 100
sexually active young females who attended the Department of Pediatric and
Adolescent Gynecology, Mother and Child Health Care Institute of Serbia in
Belgrade because having one unprotected sexual intercourse. All of the
investigated subjects were given two doses of 0,75 mg LNG within 72 hours of
unprotected sexual intercourse. First dose was administred as soon as possible
and another one after 12 hours. The follow-up visit was performed after first
menstrual period, or after 4 weeks if menstrual period was absent. The pregnancy
estimation, as well as the changes in the timing of menstrual bleeding were
registered. Data were statistically analyzed by the means of descriptive
Results: The subjects were healthy, non-pregnant women
aged 15-24, with regular menstrual cycle. After administration of levonorgestrel
EC one pregnancy was registered, with the contraceptive efficiency rate of 99%.
The timing of menstrual bleeding was unchanged in 80% of investigated women. A
delay of menstrual bleeding following EC use occured in 19 (19%). There were no
differences in the mean duration of menstrual bleeding before and after
levonorgestrel EC treatment.
Conclusion: The risk of unwanted pregnancy is very
prominent in the population of young women. Emergency contraception with
levonorgestrel provides effective back-up contraceptive method without
significant changes in the timing of menstrual bleeding after this treatment