Emergency Contraceptive Pill (ECP) Service
The ECP service enables general practitioners and suitably trained/accredited nurses in participating practices or accredited community pharmacists to either:
Supply one Levonorgestrel 1.5mg emergency contraceptive pill (ECP) free of charge to women of any age (if eligible for publicly funded healthcare in New Zealand); or
Claim for a free, confidential, sexual health consultation when the woman presents with an ECP voucher (having received the ECP from a pharmacy). The sexual health consultation can be used to discuss contraception, sexually transmitted infections, a pregnancy test or smear.
The provider may claim $40 + GST for either consultation via the NBPH web-portal. A nurse may decide to provide 2 separate consultations for the one $40 payment (ECP supply followed by sexual health consultation).
If taken within 72 hours of unprotected sexual intercourse the ECP can be effective at preventing pregnancy by stopping ovulation or preventing fertilisation. It is more effective the earlier it is taken.
It is not an abortive and will not work if the woman is already pregnant. It does not protect against sexually transmitted infections. The efficacy of the ECP may be affected by drugs interactions or increased BMI >30. More information is available on Health Pathways or New Zealand Formulary .
Patient resources to provide extra information regarding contraception and sexually transmitted infections can be ordered from NMDHB Public Health (03) 546‑1537.
Other useful information: