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New Resource Promotes Increased Provision of Most Effective Method of Emergency Contraception

New York, NY – Nearly one in every two pregnancies is unintended, with 53% of unintended pregnancies due to non-use of a contraceptive method and 43% due to incorrect contraceptive use.1,2 In New York State, efforts are underway to support women and their partners to reduce the chance of pregnancy after unprotected sex by promoting the use of the copper intrauterine device (IUD) as emergency contraception (EC). In addition to being one of the most effective forms of contraception, the copper IUD is the most effective form of EC, with a failure rate of less than 0.1%.3

The New York State Center of Excellence for Family Planning and Reproductive Health Services, a project of CAI, has produced an implementation toolkit to support the successful implementation of the copper IUD as EC in health care settings—the first of its kind. The toolkit was developed for agencies that receive Title X Family Planning Program funding through the New York State Department of Health’s Comprehensive Family Planning and Reproductive Health Care Services Program, as well as other sexual and reproductive health care providers in New York State and beyond.

Traditionally, the term “EC” has referred mostly to Plan B or Ella. Both of these EC options, while effective, only protect against an unintended pregnancy one time following unprotected sex. In offering the copper IUD as EC for immediate and long-term use, family planning providers have an opportunity to support a woman who has experienced a contraceptive emergency while helping her to prevent future unintended pregnancy for up to 10-12 years.4  

“In New York State, we are extremely fortunate to have an infrastructure in place to provide those women who select the IUD with their contraceptive method of choice,” stated Elizabeth Jones, Director of the New York State Center of Excellence for Family Planning and Reproductive Health Services. “However, offering the copper IUD same-day as EC has operational implications for health care providers. This toolkit helps sexual and reproductive health providers to leverage and adapt their current systems and begin offering this innovative, evidence-based service.”

The toolkit includes background information about the copper IUD, the rationale for offering it to clients, and implementation tools for administrators, clinicians, and frontline staff. The toolkit is available to download by health care providers here.


For more information about the work of the New York State Center of Excellence for Family Planning and Reproductive Health Services, visit nysfamilyplanningcoe.org.

1. Finer LB, Zolna MR, Declines in unintended pregnancy in the United States, 2008-2011. New England Journal of Medicine, 2016; 374:843-52. 
2. Frost JJ, Darroch JE, Factors associated with contraceptive choice and inconsistent method use, US, 2004. Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health, 2008; 40(2):94-104. 
3. Intrauterine Contraception. (2015). Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Retrieved from http://www.cdc.gov/reproductivehealth/unintendedpregnancy/contraception.htm#Intrauterine-Contraception-IUD-IUS.
4. While the on-label use of the copper IUD is up to 10 years, current evidence-based, best practice supports the use of the copper IUD up to 12 years.

About CAI: CAI is a global nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the health and well-being of underserved populations worldwide. For more than 35 years CAI has provided customized capacity building services to health and human service organizations in more than 27 countries and in all 50 states. Offering more than 1,500 training programs annually, CAI’s passionate staff works to fulfill its mission: to use the transformative power of education and research to foster a more aware, healthy, compassionate and equitable world. For more information about CAI, visit our website: www.caiglobal.org

About the Center of Excellence for Family Planning and Reproductive Health Services (NYS COE): Since its establishment in 2011, the NYS COE has delivered capacity-building support to the New York State Department of Health’s (NYS DOH) Title X network of 48 sub-recipient agencies in two key areas: implementation of operational best practices to ensure sustainability in the changing health care environment; and delivery of quality family planning services through the adoption of evidence-based practices and continuous quality improvement activities. For more information about the NYS COE, visit nysfamilyplanningcoe.org