Although Costa Rica has not yet approved the “morning after pill” the Asociación Demográfica Costarricense (ADC) is recommending the use of a very similar pill called “Yuzpe”.

DIRE220310pildThe Yuzpe Regimen is a method of emergency contraception using a combination of estrogen and progestogen hormones and started within 72 hours of sexual intercourse. It has been superseded by a progestogen-only hormonal regimen.

The pill is being distributed in Costa Rica under five brands: Femernal, Microgynon 3, Nordette, Norgylen and Norgyl.

Two of the brands, Norgelyin and Norgyl, are dispensed by the Caja Costarricense de Seguro Social (CCSS or Caja), the state social security, as a contraceptive, and Microgynon to women with Menstrual disorder.

The Asociación Demográfica Costarricense has taken the initiative to inform women that Yuzpe can also be used as an “effective” method in the case of unprotected sex.

The ADC is distributing flyers for women, as part of an initiative by the World Health Organization providing information and access to human rights for all people, especially women.

Lindsen Laura Morera, heading the ADC, said the information is for women to know that effectiveness of the pill, that oral emergency contraceptive is not illegal.

“The ADC makes this information easy and accessible way for people to build doses,” Morera said.

Asociación Demográfica Costarricense reports that it receives some 100 calls per year about information of the method, and that the calls are from bothe women and men between the ages of 15 and 30.

The Yuzpe method was first developed by Canadian Professor A. Albert Yuzpe as a method of reducing potential unwanted pregnancies, including pregnancy from rape. He published the first studies demonstrating the method’s safety and efficacy in 1974.

This regimen allows a woman who has had unprotected sex to avoid pregnancy by taking 12 hours apart two sufficient doses of estrogen and progestogen hormones. The sooner this is started, the more effective it is and the effectiveness more than 72 hours after sexual intercourse is greatly reduced.

These hormones are administered as a number of combined oral contraceptive pills (COCPs). Each dose can vary from 2 to 5 pills depending on the brand of medication being used. Patients concurrently taking certain regular medications (e.g. rifamycin and many anticonvulsant drugs) that enhance the liver’s break down of other drugs, must use an even higher hormone dose and may be better advised to use as an alternative the insertion of an IUD.

Some temporary, but usually minor, reactions include:

  •     Nausea and/or vomiting
  •     Breast tenderness
  •     Irregular Bleeding
  •     Headache or Dizziness

Source:, ADC, Wikipedia