§ Mr. Simon
To ask the Secretary of State for Health what advice the Chief Medical Officer has provided on(a) the risk among teenage girls of suffering an ectopic pregnancy when prescribed the morning after pill and (b) whether the risks are different for (i) young girls and (ii) adult women.87W
§ Ms Blears
Because Levonelle effectively prevents pregnancy, the total number of pregnancies, both intrauterine and ectopic, that develop after failure of Levonelle treatment is likely to be very small.
Information about the possibility of ectopic pregnancy in association with failure of the morning-after pill or emergency contraceptive, Levonelle, was provided in the January 2003 edition of the Chief Medical Officer's (CMO) newsletter, CMO Update, following review of the issue by the Committee on Safety of Medicines (CSM). This information related to all women who use Levonelle, regardless of age. The main purpose of the article in CMO Update was to remind healthcare professionals of the possibility of ectopic pregnancy after treatment with Levonelle and to be vigilant for signs of this condition in all women who use it.
The Medicines and Healthcare products regulatory agency has not received any reports through the Yellow Card Scheme of ectopic pregnancy in women below the age of 20 years who have taken Levonelle. It is generally accepted that the risk of developing an ectopic pregnancy is increased in women above the age of 35 years.
Since first receiving its marketing authorisation, Levonelle product information for healthcare professionals and women has included warnings about the possibility of contraception failure leading to either intra-uterine or, more rarely, ectopic pregnancy. In line with CSM advice the warnings regarding ectopic pregnancy are being strengthened.