Emergency contraception

What are the different types of emergency contraceptives? There are two types of emergency contraceptives: Copper IUDs (must be placed within 5 days from the unprotected intercourse) or the “morning-after pill” (also known as the emergency pill) that can be taken up to 72 hours after sex *Postpil® specifically can be taken 72 hours after sex but other morning after pills time periods may vary.

How does the emergency pill work and is it effective?
Emergency contraceptive pills work by preventing or delaying ovulation. The pregnancy rate is 1.2% to 2.1%, and they are more effective the sooner they are taken after unprotected sex. Women of all ages can take emergency contraceptive pills even if they cannot take regular hormonal contraception. There are no long term effects on fertility, no risk of cancer or ectopic pregnancy.

How to use the emergency pill?
The pills should be swallowed with water as instructed; one dose is enough and taking more than one dose will not increase effectiveness. Pills can be bought from from pharmacies and drugstores without a prescription.

How many times can you take an emergency pill?
Emergency contraceptive pill can be taken multiple times. 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.


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