Emergency Contraception

As the name suggests, emergency contraception are your back up plan in case something happens. When you have unprotected intercourse, your condom breaks or if your birth control failed or was used incorrectly, there is still something you can do to if you are not planning on getting pregnant yet.

What Is Emergency Contraception?

Commonly know as the morning after pill, emergency contraception is a safe and effective way to prevent pregnancy after unprotected intercourse or if your birth control did not work. Contrary to what its name suggests, emergency contraception’s can be taken even after 120 hours (5 days) after intercourse.

How Does Emergency Contraception Work?

Emergency contraception are made of hormones found in the human body. Hormones control different bodily functions. Some of the hormones in emergency contraception’s are also found in birth control pills. These hormones work by keeping a woman’s ovary from releasing eggs. These hormones in emergency contraception also thicken the woman’s cervical mucus, thus blocking sperm and keeping it from reaching the egg.

Some say the morning after pill works by preventing the fertilized egg from attaching to the uterus lining, but there is no proof of this actually happening.

Some fallacies about emergency contraception is that is causes abortion. This, however, is not true. Emergency contraception is a kind of birth control, not abortion. pills.

How Effective Is Emergency Contraception?

The effectiveness of emergency contraception are a common concern. Emergency contraception are 89% effective when started within 72 hours or three days after unprotected intercourse. Only 1 out of 100 women will become pregnant after taking Plan B if started within three days.

When birth control pills are used in place of emergency contraception after unprotected intercourse, they reduce the possibility of getting pregnant by 75% when started within three days. Only 2 out of 100 women will become pregnant after taking birth control pills as emergency contraception if started within three days. However, the earlier you start it, the better. However, emergency contraception does not protect you from sexually transmitted diseases. It would be wise to have a check up for infections.

How Safe Is Emergency Contraception?

Even though the morning after pill is made of the same hormones as the birth control pill, it does not have the same risks as taking the pill or other hormonal birth control methods continuously. That’s because the hormones in the morning after pill are not in your body as long as they are with ongoing birth control. There has been no report of any serious complications in the thirty years (or more) that women have been using emergency contraception.

What Are the Disadvantages of Emergency Contraception?

When you use emergency contraception, there are some undesirable side effects. If you use birth control pills as emergency contraception, there is an even greater chance of having side effects. The good news is any side effects usually go away on its own in a day or two.

The most common side effects are nausea and throwing up, especially when using birth control pills as the morning after pill. About half of the women who take birth control pills as emergency contraception report feeling sick to their stomachs, but only for about 24 hours. And only less than 1 out of 5 throw up after taking the pills.

You can opt use anti-nausea medicine, such as Dramamine or Bonine, one hour before taking emergency contraception. Read the package of the anti-nausea medicine to find out if it has any side effects. Women who use anti-nausea medicines report feeling drowsy. Many women also find it helpful to take the emergency contraception pills with a full stomach.

Other side effects of the morning after pill may include

  • breast tenderness
  • irregular bleeding
  • dizziness
  • headaches

If you use the morning after pill frequently, it may cause your period to be irregular. Emergency contraception should not be used as a form of ongoing birth control because it is less effective. There are other forms of birth control that are more effective.