Morning-After Pill 101 Guide: How It Works, Different Types and How To Get Morning-After Pill In Singapore

Sexual Health

Morning-After Pill 101 Guide: How It Works, Different Types and How To Get Morning-After Pill In Singapore

Editorial Team
2021
.
09
.
05

In this article, we will be explaining what the morning-after pill is, the different kinds of morning-after pills, how they work, their side effects and how Zoey can help you get the morning-after pills you need to avoid unwanted pregnancies.

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What Is The Morning-After Pill?


Emergency contraception refers to birth control methods that is used to prevent pregnancy after having sex without protection. While emergency contraception can be taken within 72 to 120 hours after having unprotected sex, it is recommended that you take them as soon as you can This will increase their effectiveness at avoiding unwanted pregnancies from occurring. 


Emergency contraception prevents pregnancy from occurring either by delaying ovulation to prevent fertilization from happening or killing the sperm before it reaches the egg. It is important to know that emergency contraception does not induce an abortion. 


Emergency contraceptive pills (ECPs), also commonly known as "morning-after" pills, are hormone pills. They contain much higher levels of hormones found in birth control pills to prevent pregnancies. 


There are currently 2 main types of morning-after pills on the market, either containing the hormone levonorgestrel, or containing the hormone ulipristal acetate. 


Levonorgestrel Morning-After Pills 


Levonorgestrel morning-after pills (Plan B, Postinor) prevent unwanted pregnancies from happening by delaying ovulation and stopping the fertilization of the egg. Levonorgestrel morning-after pills are at its most effective when you taken them within 72 hours after having unprotected sex. 


According to the World Health Organization (WHO), when levonorgestrel morning-after pills are taken within 72 to 120 hours after unprotected sex, they have a success rate of 97.9% to 98.8%.


As with all kinds of emergency contraceptives, it is recommended that you take the levonorgestrel morning-after pill as you soon as you can after having unprotected sex to ensure maximum effectiveness. 


Ulipristal Acetate Morning-After Pills 


Ulipristal acetate morning-after pills (Ella) prevent unwanted pregnancies by suppressing and delaying ovulation from occurring, which prevents fertilization of the egg from happening. Ulipristal acetate morning-after pills are at its most effective when taken within 120 hours after having unprotected sex. 


According to the World Health Organization (WHO), ulipristal acetate morning-after pills are considered the most effective morning-after pill with a success rate of 98.8% when taken within 120 hours. 


As with all kinds of emergency contraceptives, it is still recommended that you take the ulipristal acetate morning-after pill as you soon as you can after having unprotected sex to ensure maximum effectiveness. 


When Should I Take The Morning-After Pill?


You should taken a morning-after pill if any of the following has occurred: 


- After having unprotected sex

- Your partner’s condom either broke or came off during sex

- You have missed 2 or more days of your birth control pills

- You believe that your method of birth control has failed


Side Effects Of Taking The Morning-After Pill


While morning-after pills are safe to consume for most women (with many reporting that they experience zero side effects), it is possible that you might experience some mild side effects after taking it. 


As mentioned earlier, morning-after pills contain a higher level of hormones found in birth control and could cause the following side effects: 


- Headaches

- Nausea and vomiting*

- Irregular bleeding or spotting

- Mild stomach pain

- Dizziness

- Breast tenderness


*If you do throw up within 2 hours of taking the morning-after pill, it is important to contact your doctor to discuss whether another pill is necessary. 


In order to help mitigate and minimize the feeling of nausea or vomiting that might occur, it is recommended that you have a snack or a light meal before taking your morning-after pill. 




Can I Get A Morning-After Pill Over-The-Counter Or Without A Prescription In Singapore? 


No.


In order to get a morning-after pill, you will need a prescription for it. You will also need to be above the age of 16 in order to be prescribed a morning-after pill in Singapore. 


Where Can I Get An Morning-After Pill In Singapore?


So how can you get a morning-after pill in Singapore?


There are several ways you get prescribed a morning-after pill: either by visiting a local GP clinic, a public gynecologist or a private gynecologist. 


But all of them require you to physically head down to a clinic and wait in a line before being able to speak to a doctor. Given that the clock is ticking when it comes to morning-after pills, this might not be ideal. 


With Zoey, a zero-judgement digital health clinic for women in Singapore, you'll be able to get the morning-after pill you need from the comfort and privacy of your home. 


Getting started with Zoey couldn't be simpler - all you have to do is answer an online medication evaluation. Once complete, you will be able to book a teleconsultation session with a licensed doctor at your convenience. If prescribed, your morning-after pill will be delivered discreetly to you on the same day. Given the time-sensitive nature of the prescription, we will endeavor to have the morning-after pill delivered to you within the 4-hour delivery promise. 


You don't have to worry about the legitimacy and safety of the morning-after pills provided as Zoey is a recognized by the Ministry Of Health (MOH) as a direct telemedicine service provider.


Morning-After Pills In Singapore FAQ 


1) How Soon Must You Take The Morning-After Pill To Avoid Pregnancy? 


While exact timings will differ between which morning-after pill you have chosen, they should be taken within 72 hours (3 days) after having unprotected sex. 


As mentioned earlier, morning-after pills that contain the hormone ulipristal acetate are considered one of the best as they provide a much wider time frame (120 hours, 5 days) while also having a high success rate of 98.8%. 


Of course it is still highly recommended that you take the morning-after pill as soon as you after having unprotected sex. The faster you're able to take the morning-after pill, the more effective it will be. 

2) How Often Can I Use The Morning-After Pill? 


There is no limit to how many times you can take the morning-after pill as multiple usage will not affect the emergency contraceptive's ability to successfully prevent unwanted pregnancies. 


However, it is not recommended that you rely on morning-after pills as your main method of birth control. This is because morning-after pills do not prevent unwanted pregnancies as well as other forms of birth control like birth control pills, rings and patches. Morning-after pills are also significantly more expensive and less convenient to take than other birth control methods.


As mentioned earlier, taking morning-after pills can cause you to experience irregular periods, which makes it more difficult to predict your next cycle. So while it is completely safe to take morning-after pills as often as you need to, using regular forms of birth control (birth control pills, rings patches, IUDs etc) are still the best ways to prevent unwanted pregnancies long-term.


3) Will Taking Morning-After Pills Often Affect My Fertility And My Chances Of Getting Pregnant In The Future? 


No.


Taking the morning-after pills will not prevent you from getting pregnant in the future or cause you any fertility issues.


You should take morning-after pills when you deem them to be necessary after having unprotected sex. 


If you've recently had unprotected sex and need an emergency contraceptive pill, you can consult a doctor on our platform. Here at Zoey, we understand that emergency contraception is a time-sensitive prescription and will endeavor to have your medication delivered to you within the 4-hour delivery promise.


References


“Emergency Contraception.” World Health Organization, World Health Organization, www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/emergency-contraception. (Link)