This site is intended for health professionals only

Emergency contraception effective regardless of weight

Emergency contraceptives are suitable for all women regardless of weight, the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has claimed. 

A recent European review has concluded that the benefits of emergency contraceptives continue to outweigh the risks in all women. 

The new review overturns previous suggestions that  body weight had an impact on the effectiveness of these medicines. 

The results of the studies will be reflected in the UK product information for emergency contraceptives Levonelle and ellaOne.

Deputy director of vigilance and risk management of medicines, Dr Sarah Branch said: “Women should be reassured that regardless of their body weight, emergency contraceptives can still be used to prevent unintended pregnancy. Women should continue to take these products as early as possible after contraception failure or unprotected sexual intercourse.

“Emergency contraceptives are safe and effective medicines. However, they are not methods of long term contraception and they should not be used to replace regular contraceptive methods."