What are the different types of emergency contraceptives?
There are two types of emergency contraceptives that must be used within 120 hours after unprotected sex. You can use copper IUDs (must be placed within 5 days from the unprotected intercourse) or the "morning-after pill" (also known as the emergency pill).
How does the emergency pill work and is it effective?
The emergency or morning-after pill should be taken within 120 hours after unprotected sex to avoid pregnancy. It is effective from 75 to 89% if it’s taken properly and as soon as possible after unprotected intercourse. Even when taken as instructed, there is still a risk of pregnancy.
How to use the emergency pill?
You should simply swallow the pill as instructed; one dose is enough and taking more than one dose won’t increase your protection from pregnancy. You can buy levonorgestrel pills from pharmacies and drugstores without a prescription.
How many times can you take an emergency pill?
Unlike what you might hear, you can take the emergency pill as many times as you want. However, it is meant as a backup solution and not as a regular birth control method like the contraceptive pill taken every day. Morning-after pill should only be used to avoid pregnancy after unprotected sex.
Is the morning-after pill safe? What are the side effects?
The morning-after pill is safe. No serious complications have been reported. However, it contains the same hormones as the daily pill and can have some side effects such as nausea, dizziness, fatigue, headache, breast tenderness, bleeding between periods and lower abdominal pain. The side effects usually disappear within 3 days.
Which kind of emergency contraception should I use?
As mentioned above, there are two main emergency contraceptives types: morning-after pills (usually the easiest to get, over the counter) and copper IUDs (that require you to buy the device, go to a healthcare provider and have it inserted). It also depends on when you had unprotected sex (since more than 120 hours or not), what is easier for you to get and whether you’re breastfeeding or not.
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