Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains Statement on the Effectiveness of Emergency Contraception


Rebecca Sunshine

Published: 11.26.13| Updated: 11.26.13

DENVER – The following statement from Amy Dickson, vice president of clinical operations for PPRM, is in regard to recent reports that emergency contraception (EC) may not be equally effective in all women:

“The method of EC, Levonorgestrel EC, also known as Plan B, is currently an over-the-counter product and we will continue to offer it in this same, quick-access manner as prescribed by the law to ensure that our patients and their partners can access the medication as they need it.

“PPRM is one of the region’s leading providers of EC, and as this form of birth control becomes more available we’re constantly working to ensure that women have the correct and most up to date information and are advised of the options in order to decide what’s best for them. There is some evidence suggesting that Plan B One-Step is less effective for women with a BMI of over 25 or a weight of about 165 pounds and that it may not be effective for women over 175 pounds. For women who we believe could benefit from accessing other methods of EC, such as the copper IUD or ella, our health centers are happy to make those recommendations to patients for them to consider for their specific situation.

“PPRM always strives to evaluate new-medical evidence and to make certain we are always offering our patients high-quality, evidence-based care, in this case, we believe that more study on the issue of weight and effectiveness of EC is needed.”

In Europe, a method of emergency contraception which is identical to Plan B One-Step pills (the brand of emergency contraception that recently became available over the counter in the US) is now going to include information on the label stating that these pills are less effective in women over 165 pounds and are not effective in women over 175 pounds. A study in 2011 attempted to identify factors associated with failure of emergency contraception, and suggested that Plan B One-Step may not be effective for heavier women, which has led to the new labeling in Europe. 


Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains empowers individuals and families in the communities we serve to make informed choices about their sexual and reproductive health by providing high quality health services, comprehensive sex education, and strategic advocacy.  More than 120,000 women, men, and young adults annually visit our 30 health centers throughout Colorado, New Mexico, Southern Nevada, and Wyoming. Since 1916, we have been the region’s most trusted provider of reproductive health care.  For more information about Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains, call 1.800.230.PLAN or visit for the health center nearest you.

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