Document Type



Obstetrics and Gynaecology (East Africa)


Introduction: ectopic pregnancy is one of the causes of maternal morbidity and mortality in Sub-Saharan Africa. Levonorgestrel (LNG) only emergency contraceptive pill is a well-established emergency contraceptive pill that is administered within 72 hours after unprotected intercourse. This study aimed at determining whether or not there is a significant association between levonorgestrel emergency contraceptive use and the occurrence of ectopic pregnancy.

Methods: case-control (1:3) study among 79 women with ectopic pregnancy (cases) matched against 237 women without (controls) at Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital in Eldoret, Kenya; Sociodemographic and clinical data were collected using a questionnaire. Association between ectopic pregnancy and LNG-EC was assessed using Pearson chi-square test. The relationship between outcome and exposure (while adjusting for confounders) was assessed using logistic regression model.

Results: The mean age was 27.15 years. Both cases and controls were similar by age (p = 0.990), educational level (p = 0.850), marital status (p = 0.559), employment status (p = 0.186) and parity (p = 0.999). Seventy-eight (24.7%) participants had a history of miscarriage. A higher proportion of the cases had history of using LNG-EC compared to the controls (32.9% vs. 7.2%, p < 0.001). The use of LNG-EC portended more than nine times increased odds of ectopic pregnancy compared to other contraceptive methods {OR = 9.34 (95% CI: 3.9 - 16.0)}.

Conclusion: levonorgestrel only emergency contraceptive use was associated with ectopic pregnancy. One of the limitations of this study is that we could not control for all confounders of ectopic pregnancy.


This work was published before the author joined Aga Khan University.

Publication (Name of Journal)

Pan African Medical Journal