ellaOne® – use in adolescents

ellaOne® can be used by any woman of childbearing age

Adolescent pregnancy is a recognised public health concern. EC constitutes an important tool in the arsenal of contraceptive options that reduce the risk of unintended pregnancies. ellaOne® is suitable for any woman of childbearing age, including adolescents.

It is important anyone supplying ellaOne® has undertaken appropriate training and is fully aware of the guidelines surrounding consent and confidentiality in sexual health services in under 16s. The same care should be given to all women, including those under 16, as has been the case since EC first became available in pharmacy over a decade ago.

A post-marketing observational study evaluating efficacy and safety of ellaOne® in adolescents aged 17 and younger showed no difference in the safety and efficacy profile compared to adult women aged 18 and older.

Practice point

Pharmacists may receive requests for EHC from women of less than 16 years of age. It is important that they have undertaken appropriate training (e.g. CPPE module on safeguarding children and vulnerable adults) to be able to supply EHC with confidence and are fully aware of the Fraser Guidelines surrounding consent and confidentiality on sexual health services in under 16s. This guidance allows healthcare professionals to give advice and treatment provided they are satisfied that:

  • The young person will understand the advice and understands what is involved
  • The young person cannot be persuaded to inform their parents, or allow the health professional to inform their parents
  • The young person is very likely to begin, or continue to have, sexual intercourse without contraception
  • Without contraceptive advice or treatment, the young person’s physical or mental health (or both) would suffer.