morning after pill
How it works, dangers and pros
Above is an image of one of Britain is most common variation of the morning after pill. It is known to be very effective in the job that it is expected to do. This article is not specific to ellaOne or any other brand.
Using the emergency contraceptive pill for preventing the pregnancy is fairly common among teenagers and young adults. The reasons for the use of emergency contraception will vary from poor planning, mistakes, to the more tragic ones such as sexual assault. In cases of sexual assault, emergency contraception steps in to protect the victim from the possibility of getting pregnant from her attacker. In the former two cases, emergency contraception comes in handy when the first line of defence in the form of condoms and other more common forms of contraception have not been used. In the UK, emergency contraception is somewhat regulated. Unlike other forms of contraception, that can be purchased in department stores, emergency contraception is available in clinics, pharmacies, GPs and other such settings. The GPs or pharmacists may ask for details such as when you had intercourse. This is done to ascertain whether this is the right form of contraception for you or not.
If you are over the age of 16, you will have access to emergency contraception from the above mentioned providers, as well as be able to purchase it to keep. Most people would need to purchase it if they are travelling to places where they will not have access to it, but may need it.
Besides the pill, the intrauterine device is also another form of emergency contraception that is still used in the UK. This is inserted into your uterus with the purpose of blocking the egg from being fertilised.
For all the good things that the pill offers, when needed, it is worth noting that it does not provide protection from sexually transmitted diseases. Users should use other forms of contraception to protect themselves from these.
When is it best to take the pill (emergency contraception)?
There is a very small window between when you have intercourse and when you can take the pill and get the desired effect. The figures will vary depending on which form of contraception you use.
Levonelle – Up to 3 days after intercourse.
ellaOne – Up to 5 days after intercourse.
UID – Up to 5 days after intercourse.
How effective is emergency contraception?
It is not an easy task to track the efficiency of morning after pills, for reasons that should be obvious. Clinical trials and other studies show that they usually have the desired effect, as far as the therapeutic effect that they have on the body. The intrauterine device is believed to have a 99% rate of efficiency, per NHS.
The pills are not as effective as the IUD. The sooner you use them, the higher your chances are that they will work.
How do morning after pills work?
ellaOne delays or prevents ovulation. No ovulation means no fertilisation. This is an overly simplistic way to look at it, but one that makes things clear.
Levonelle is thought to have the same effect as ellaOne, although it is known to be slightly less effective and offer a smaller window of usage post intercourse.
Who should not be using the pill or be cautious while taking it?
1. If you are already pregnant
2. On other medication that may have contraindicative effects. (speak to medical professional)
3. Breast feeding. Levonelle has been proven to be safe to take while breast feeding. Please speak to a medical professional if in doubt.
4. On antibiotics. This is a “NO! NO!”
5. Using glucocorticoids to treat asthma.
6. Have challenges metabolising lactose. These are usually hereditary.
There is evidence to suggest that emergency pills are less effective in overweight women. This is a phenomenon that is shared in most medication. The larger the surface area they must cover, the less likely you are to get the desired effect on a regular dosage. A larger dose may be required for those who are bulkier. To make sure you are safe, please speak to a medical professional and get clearance before altering the recommended dosage.
Taking emergency contraception while one is already pregnant is ineffective. It will not affect the foetus, or have the desired effect of stopping the pregnancy.
Side effects of using emergency contraception
There are no major side effects that can be attributed to the use of morning after pills. If used in moderation and with care, they are fairly safe to use. Reported side effects include:
1. Lower abdominal cramps, pain
2. Heavy Bleeding
3. Early periods
4. Soreness of the breasts
5. Discharge and pain from the nipples
10. Weight Gain
1. Causes blood clotting, arterial blockage, stops lung’s blood supply
2. Bleeding eruption (Haemorrhage)
3. Mesenteric thrombosis
4. Venus thrombosis
5. Haemolytic uremic syndrome
6. Budd-Chiari Syndrome
1. Corneal curvature changes
2. Retinal thrombosis
5. Cerebral thrombosis
6. Brain haemorrhage
Using it can be harmful for the women in a long term because these contraceptive pills play on the body’s natural function, which is not a good practice long term. Causing the various hormonal changes, it can cause different health issues in a short period of the time. It is advisable to only use these forms of contraception for the occasions for which they were made, for “emergency”.
The terms surrounding the use of these drugs will differ from country to country. It is advisable to speak to a medical professional if you have any questions that may be specific to your region. Things such as the age that is allowed to purchase emergency contraception will definitely not be the same across the board. Accessibility will also be different.
Just to reiterate, if possible, make use of regular methods such as a condom as the first method of contraception.
Originally posted 2017-08-06 13:25:04.