Last Updated: 15th December, 2020
Morning-after pills are like a boon for women who keep forgetting to take contraceptive pills to prevent accidental pregnancy or after sexual intercourse experiencing a condom break. It acts as a back-up plan and hence, also known as the emergency contraceptive pill. It can be a very difficult choice to choose what to do about an unwanted pregnancy. Fortunately, countless unwanted pregnancies were effectively nipped in the bud with the implementation of emergency contraceptives.
However, what most women need to know is the fact that morning-after pill is not a primary form of birth control and should only be used in the case of emergency. Moreover, it should not be confused with pills used to induce abortion. In this article, we share some of the must-to-know facts about the morning-after pills.
Morning-After Pills: Answers To Common FAQs
Emergency contraceptives or “morning-after pills” and are relatively new to the medical world, and many women may be unaware of their usage, advantages, and side-effects. Here are some of the important questions that may cross your mind in case you need to take an emergency pill.
What Is An Emergency Contraceptive Pill?
The emergency contraceptive pill is a type of birth control pills which can help prevent unwanted pregnancy when taken within a few days after of unsafe intercourse. It is usually effective and should never be taken as a regular contraception. All too many emergency contraceptives consist of a ‘Levonorgestrel‘ combination of progesterone-estrogen.
When To Take An Emergency Contraceptive Pill?
As the name suggests it is an emergency contraceptive that needs to be taken within 24-72 hours of having an unprotected intercourse. The pill should be orally taken. Also, the sooner you take the pill, the better it is because as time pass by the pill becomes less effective.
Most of these pills are advised to be taken within 72 hours. So check the instructions on the pill before you take one as there are numerous brands of emergency contraceptive pills available in the market.
How Effective Is Emergency Contraception?
Most emergency pills, if taken within 24 hours, have a success rate of 95 percent. The rate of success decreases with the passage of time after unprotected intercourse. Although these pills can operate up to 72 hours, to prevent any chance of pregnancy, they must be taken as quickly as possible.
How Does Emergency Birth Control Work?
The emergency pill operates by delaying ovulation (the discharge of an egg from the ovary) and hindering the egg, fertilization with the sperm based on your reproductive cycle. Implantation (attachment) within the uterus might also be prohibited even after fertilization has happened.
Does It Protect Against Sexually Transmitted Diseases?
Emergency pills will not prevent against all the risk of infectious diseases and HIV transmission. Condoms should always be used to prevent these diseases as they are safe and effective methods of contraception. Also, these pills should not be mistaken for abortion pills.
How Safe Are These Pills?
Emergency oral contraceptives is a procedure driven by quick action. The dosage would be generally strong, and it is not strictly recommended to use regularly. Some pills are absorbed into the system and remain active for up to 7 days, while others are never absorbed. If taken cautiously and responsibly, the pills are secure.
Nevertheless, owing to hormonal imbalance, there might be some side effects like nausea, exhaustion, a headache, and cramps of the stomach. Periods can begin early or even be deferred.
Morning-After Pill: Tips To Keep In Mind
While emergency pills are efficient in most instances, it is always advisable to consult professionals along with adequate precautions. Ensuring the proper intake of water and a healthy diet is highly recommended for combating the side effects of emergency contraception. Additionally, here are a few tips to keep in mind if you have already taken or plan to take the morning-after pill.
One of the common side-effects of emergency contraceptive pill are irregular and lighter periods. However, if you do not get your periods within three weeks after using this medicine, it is wise to do a pregnancy test to make sure you are not pregnant.
Vomiting within three hours of taking this pill do not let the constituents of the pill to be properly absorbed by the body which can render the pill ineffective. Take another pill in such cases to avoid unwanted pregnancy.
Women who are overweight and obese may have a reduced effect of the pill. This is why it is recommended to talk to your gynecologist before taking this pill to know the right dosage of the pill and the right method of contraception.
Although there is no set rule on how often you should take the morning-after pill after an unprotected intercourse, it is not recommended to take it on a regular basis like daily contraceptive pills as it can lead to certain health effects over the long-term. In such a case, thinking about long-term contraception options to prevent unwanted pregnancy is the best bet.
Finally, A Word Of Caution About The Morning-After Pills!
Emergency contraceptives should not be used as a primary method of contraception. Instead, regular birth control methods like condoms and use of intrauterine devices (IUDs) are highly recommended for the prevention of unwanted pregnancy.
Also, these pills do not work if pregnancy has already occurred and this is the reason why emergency contraceptives are not 100% effective in the prevention of pregnancy.