Emergency Contraception Options
There are times when it is necessary to get emergency contraception. The good thing is that there are multiple safe and reliable options currently available for women nowadays.
Emergency contraception methods include Para Guard IUD (Intrauterine Device) insertion and the morning-after pill, which can be utilized within 5 days (120 hours) of unprotected intercourse.
What is the morning-after pill?
The morning-after pill can work by averting ovulation (the release of an egg from the ovary), inhibiting the implantation of any fertilized egg, or blocking the fertilization of any egg.
Since it may take up to 6 days for the fertilization to take place, the morning-after pill is useable up to 5 days (120 hours) after unprotected intercourse. There are only two kinds of pills currently available: ulipristal acetate pills and levonorgestrel pills.
A morning-after pill that contains levonorgestrel has an 89% rate of efficacy when it is taken inside 3 days (72 hours) of unprotected sex. The pills can also be consumed up to 5 days (120 hours) following an intercourse, but they have a lower rate of efficacy in such cases. On the other hand, pills containing ulipristal acetate provide 85% efficacy in reduction of the chances of pregnancy when they are taken within 120 hours (5 days) of unprotected sex. Ulipristal is better known as EllaOne. You can find out more about EllaOne at this website.
It is essential to keep in mind that the morning-after pill won’t cause a female to have an abortion. It will also not offer protection if there’s unprotected intercourse shortly upon consumption of the pill. Normal contraception methods need to be resumed or initiated. Recent research tells us that pills which contain levonorgestrel don’t prevent implantation. It is yet to be known, however, whether, ulipristal acetate has the same effect.
Which morning-after pill should one use?
Pills containing levonorgestrel might be less effective in women who are overweight (i.e. those who have a BMI of more than 25). For such women, pills containing ulipristal acetate may be a better option. However, it’s important to note that pills containing ulipristal acetate lose their efficacy in females who have a BMI of more than 35.
Depending upon the brand of birth control, a female’s routine pill for birth control can sometimes be used as an emergency contraception with the guidance of a healthcare provider.
Side effects of the morning-after pill
Of course, the morning-after pill provides females a safe choice for preventing pregnancy, but it does have a few disadvantages, such as mild side effects and a lack of protection against STDs.
The temporary side effects of morning-after pills are as follows:
- Breast tenderness
- Menstrual changes
It is essential to keep in mind that the morning-after pill will lose its efficacy in case vomiting occurs inside 2 hours of consumption. In case of vomiting, an additional dose will be needed. When a morning-after pill is frequently used, it may lead to menstrual irregularities, such as unpredictable and irregular menses.
The morning-after pill may be safe, but a few women should refrain from taking it. Such women include the ones allergic to the component of the pills, those who are pregnant, or those already on medicines such as St. John’s Wort or barbiturates.
Fetal effects of pills containing ulipristal acetate are unknown, and such pills aren’t recommended for women who are breastfeeding. Levonorgestrel isn’t harmful during pregnancy, although it might not be as effective since it isn’t an abortion-inducing medicine.
In case you don’t have any menstrual flow inside 3 to 4 weeks of taking the morning-after pill, it is suggested that you take a pregnancy test. Get in touch with your healthcare provider in case you experience symptoms of a miscarriage or ectopic pregnancy, such as spotting or bleeding which lasts more than a week, or severe pain in the lower abdominal area 3 to 5 weeks after taking the morning-after pill.
It is possible to get the morning after pill online in an emergency situation or even to retain as a precautionary measure. This is sometimes more convenient for many women. Just be careful that you choose a regulated clinic. We suggest that you start with this reputable family planning website.
Insertion of ParaGard
ParaGard IUD is almost 99.9% effective if inserted by a provider inside 5 days (120 hours) of unprotected intercourse. The added advantage of ParaGard insertion is that other than offering emergency contraception, it can further provide effective birth control for as long as 12 years.
All in all, you should speak with your healthcare provider regarding your options for emergency contraception and which one would work best for you.