Emergency contraception (next day pill)

Emergency contraception (next day pill)

Emergency contraception refers to measures to prevent the onset of pregnancy immediately after unprotected sexual contact. The pill or next-day pill is the most commonly used emergency contraceptive method. There are a lot of myths and untruths formed around it, so it's essential to find out how it actually works and how efficient it is.

When to call for emergency contraception?

It is advisable to use this measure to prevent pregnancy in one of the following situations:

  • you did not use a condom and no other contraceptive measures (oral contraceptives, diaphragm, oral contraceptives, etc.)

  • you were forced to make unprotected sexual contacts;

  • the condom broke or slipped during sexual contact;

  • the diaphragm moved and slid from its position;

  • the "coitus interruptus" method or withdrawal did not take place on time;

  • you forgot to take 2 or 3 contraceptive pills in a row;

  • you have other reasons for believing that the contraceptive method used has failed.

Emergency contraception is not a contraceptive method that can be used regularly. You should only resort to it in exceptional cases, when small "accidents" occur during sexual acts. It is advisable to use long-term contraceptive methods if you have a stable sex life and a stable partner. Talk to a doctor to advise you which is best for you.

How many types of emergency contraception are there?

There are 2 types:

  • emergency contraceptive pills (2nd pill);

  • intrauterine device (T-shaped, very small, placed in the uterus of a doctor within 5 days of unprotected sex; it prevents sperm from fertilizing the egg)

Pill (2nd pill)

The 2nd pill is an emergency contraceptive method that is meant to prevent sperm from fertilizing the egg if taken within 72 hours of unprotected sexual contact. But the faster it is taken after maintaining sexual relations, the more effective it is.

It is thought to act by preventing the ovaries from releasing the egg and forming the embryo of pregnancy.

How efficient is it?

It does not have a 100% efficiency, but the failure rate is very low. It also depends on how quickly it was administered after unprotected sexual contact. The failure rate is somewhere below 10%. The faster it is taken, the more efficiency it increases.

Attention, because it does not offer long-term protection. It is not able to protect you from a future pregnancy if you have had other sexual contacts after its administration. If you continue sexual intercourse in the next few days there are all chances to get pregnant.

Is it dangerous? What are the side effects?

The 2nd day pill is not at all dangerous if taken according to the directions and recommendations on the leaflet. There are a few minor side effects that occur in about 1 in 60 women who use this method:

  • nausea (rarely vomiting);

  • headache;

  • fatigue;

  • breast sensitivity;

  • blood stains (vaginal);

  • slight abdominal cramps;

  • dizziness etc.

If you vomit the pill within 3 hours after its administration, its effect disappears and you should take it, most likely another. Ask your doctor for advice!

In what situations you cannot take emergency contraceptive pill?

This is addressed to a large female audience, but there are some situations in which its administration is prohibited. These are women who suffer from severe liver disease or a very rare disease called porphyria.

Also, if you know you use a plant called St John's Wort (Hypericum Perforatum), a derivative of the ringworm, you must know that the effectiveness of the pills decreases.

How often can you use the 2nd day pill?

It is important to remember that this is not a common contraceptive method. It is used only in case of emergency and never more than 2 times a year. It is preferable to have a break of at least 6 months between 2 administrations. Otherwise, serious hormonal disorders may occur.

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