Emergency contraception is a safety method that is used after having unprotected intercourse, to eliminate the possibility of unwanted pregnancy. This is also known as postcoital contraception or the morning-after pill.
These are legal ways of averting from pregnancy as abortion and contraception are two very different terms. Emergency contraception performs the task of avoiding pregnancy during the implantation stages and not after the fertilization process.
These pills also act within a specified (usually 72 hours) period and not after that. During this time, if by any chance there is a possibility of fertilization by the sperm entering the ovaries then that process will be eliminated by the usage of these pills.
The basic reason why these emergency contraception pills are successful in terminating the possibility of pregnancy is because they have really high dosage of estrogen and progesterone hormones.
The normal oral contraceptives (taken regularly) have less dosage and hence they do not affect the health of women who consume them. This emergency contraception has high risk factors associated with them, if consumed in a regular manner. These are only for emergencies and not for regular use.
Any women consuming these pills excessively should have the knowledge of the side effects that they cause.
Side effects caused by their usage:
The widespread side effect is of nausea and vomiting. The other side effects that occur are:
- Breast tenderness
- Pains in the lower abdominal area
- Excessive dizziness
These are the normal side effects that are associated with emergency contraception consumption.
There may be alterations in the menstrual cycle after consuming these emergency contraception pills. There are two ways to get a general idea about the delay in the menses.
If you’ve consumed pills before your ovulation date (count the 14th day from the first day of your bleeding) then you may experience some withdrawal bleeding, this bleeding can generally be seen to occur within 7 days of consumption of emergency contraception.
If you’ve taken the pill immediately after unprotected intercourse, and if that falls after the ovulation date then you might experience an extension in the menstrual cycle.
Often majority of women freak out if they have delayed menses even after consuming the emergency contraception, but the reason is that these pills alter your cycle and hence the delay.
WHO stated that the emergency contraception pills generally work up to five days after unprotected sex, though, it is advised to consume it at the early stage only if you suspect a possible pregnancy.
Efficiency of these- morning after pills:
The emergency contraception pills are noted to be effective 95% of the time if taken correctly and within the specified time limit. The two types of pills such as the progesterone only type and the Yuzpe type are supposed to have 89% and 55% effectiveness respectively according to different calculation methods.
However, these pills are for user friendly but emergency consumption only. These can be relied upon by the women as they are really useful in terminating unwanted fertilization.