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Single dose mifepristone, single dose levonorgestrel, or 2 dose levonorgestrel were effective emergency contraceptives

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 QUESTION: In women requesting emergency contraception, what is the relative effectiveness of a single dose of mifepristone, a single dose of levonorgestrel, or 2 separate doses of levonorgestrel in emergency contraception?


Randomised (allocation concealed*), blinded (clinicians, patients, monitoring committee, {data collectors, outcome assesors, and data analysts}),* controlled trial with 6 weeks of follow up.


15 family planning clinics in China, Finland, Georgia, Hungary, India, Mongolia, Slovenia, Sweden, Switzerland, and the UK.


4136 women (mean age 27 y) who presented for emergency contraception within 120 hours of 1 act of unprotected coitus in their present menstrual cycle. Women had to be healthy, have regular (24–42 d duration) menstrual cycles, and be willing to abstain from unprotected intercourse during the menstrual cycle. Women who had been pregnant or had recently discontinued hormonal contraception had to have had ≥1 complete and normal menstrual cycle before the current cycle. Exclusion criteria …

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  • Source of funding: UNDP/UNFPA/ WHO/World Bank Special Programme of Research, Development and Research Training in Human Reproduction.

  • For correspondence: Dr H von Hertzen, World Health Organization, Geneva, Switzerland. vonhertzenh{at}

  • * See glossary.

  • Information provided by author.