Preventing unintended pregnancy: The cost-effectiveness of three methods of emergency contraception
Trussell J, Koenig J, Ellertson C, Stewart F. Preventing unintended pregnancy: The cost-effectiveness of three methods of emergency contraception. American Journal of Public Health. 1997 Jun;87(6):932-7
Objectives: This study examined the cost-effectiveness of emergency contraceptive pills, minipills, and the copper-T intrauterine device (IUD) as emergency contraception.
Methods: Cost savings were modeled for both (1) a single contraceptive treatment following unprotected intercourse and (2) emergency contraceptive pills provided in advance.
Results: In a managed care (public payer) setting, a single treatment of emergency contraception after unprotected intercourse saves $142 ($54) with emergency contraceptive pills and $119 ($29) with minipills. The copper-T IUD is not cost-effective as an emergency contraceptive alone, but savings quickly accrue as use continues. Advance provision of emergency contraceptive pills to women using barrier contraceptives, spermicides, withdrawal, or periodic abstinence saves from $263 to $498 ($99 to $205) annually.
Conclusions: Emergency contraception is cost-effective whether provided when the emergency arises or in advance to be used as needed. Greater use of emergency contraception could reduce the considerable medical and social costs of unintended pregnancies.