Ulipristal acetate in emergency contraception
Despite the widespread availability of highly effective methods of contraception, unintended pregnancy is common. Unplanned pregnancies have been linked to a range of health, social and economic consequences . Emergency contraception reduces risk of pregnancy after unprotected intercourse, and represents an opportunity to decrease number of unplanned pregnancies and abortions. Emergency contraception pills (ECP) prevent pregnancy by delaying or inhibiting ovulation, without interfering with post fertilization events. If pregnancy has already occurred, ECPs will not be effective, therefore ECPs are not abortificants. Ulipristal acetate (17α-acetoxy-11β-(4N-N,N-dymethilaminophenyl)-19-norpregna-4,9-diene-3,20-dione) is the first drug that was specifically developed and licensed for use as an emergency contraceptive. It is an orally active, synthetic, selective progesterone modulator that acts by binding with high affinity to the human progesterone receptor where it has both antagonist and partial agonist effects. It is a new molecular entity and the first compound in a new pharmacological class defined by the pristal stem. Up on the superior clinical efficacy evidence, UPA has been quickly recognized as the most effective emergency contraceptive pill, and recently recommended as the first prescription choice for all women regardless of the age and timing after intercourse. This article provides literature review of UPA and its role in emergency contraception.