You’ve counted the days using the calendar method, organized your birth control pills into daily pill cases and even have back-up condoms at the ready. But sometimes life gets in the way and accidents happen. You might have forgotten to take a birth control pill or two in the midst of your busy schedule. The condom breaks or slips off in the heat of the moment. It’s the morning after, and now what?
While it might be an overwhelming and even scary experience to go through, it is important that you do your best to keep calm and have a game plan ready. These days, preventing unwanted pregnancy by using emergency contraception has an effectiveness rate of over 90%. However, it requires you to act fast and keep track of the time that the unprotected sex occurred.
In this article, we’ll be explaining what exactly emergency contraception is, how they work, their potential side effects and how Zoey can help you get the emergency contraception you need to avoid getting pregnant.
Emergency contraception refers to methods of birth control that is used to prevent pregnancy after having unprotected sex. It is recommended that emergency contraception be used within 72 to 120 hours after unprotected sex but the sooner they are taken, the more effective they will be at preventing pregnancy.
Emergency contraception prevents pregnancy by either killing the sperm before it reaches the egg or by delaying ovulation to stop fertilization from occuring. It is important to note that emergency contraception does not induce an abortion.
You should use emergency contraception if any of the following has occurred:
The 2 main types of emergency contraception are Copper Intrauterine Device (IUD) and Emergency Contraceptive Pills (ECPs), with ECPs being the most commonly used form of emergency contraception.
Often referred to as “Morning-After” pills, emergency contraceptive pills (ECPs) are hormone pills. They contain a significantly higher level of hormones found in birth control pills to prevent pregnancy from occurring.
Currently, there are 2 main types of emergency contraceptive pills or “morning-after” pills: ones that contain the hormone levonorgestrel, and ones that contain the hormone ulipristal acetate.
Emergency contraceptives pills are at its most effective when taken as soon as possible after having unprotected sex. It is completely normal to experience some spotting a few days after taking the pill as they delay ovulation. Your subsequent period might be slightly irregular after taking the emergency contraceptive pill as it could come slightly earlier by a week, be heavier than usual, or lighter than usual.
Should you not get your period within three weeks after taking the emergency contraceptive pill, or you experience any pregnancy symptoms (nausea, swollen breasts, fatigue and increased urination), it is important that you take a pregnancy test or consult your doctor.
If you experience spotting or bleeding that lasts longer than 7 days or experience lower abdominal pain after taking the emergency contraceptive pill, it is important that you consult your doctor.
While emergency contraceptive pills are generally safe to consume for most women and many do not experience side effects, there is a possibility that you might experience mild side effects. As mentioned earlier, emergency contraceptive pills contain a higher dosage of hormones than the ones found in daily birth control and might cause you to experience the following side effects:
It is recommended that you have either a small meal or a snack before taking the morning-after pill, to try and help mitigate nausea and vomiting that might occur.
If you’ve recently had unprotected sex and require emergency contraceptive pills, you can consult one of our doctors. Here at Zoey, we understand that emergency contraception is a time-sensitive prescription and will endeavour to get your prescription delivered to you within the 4-hour delivery promise.
“Emergency Contraception.” World Health Organization, World Health Organization, www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/emergency-contraception. (Link)