What is Emergency Contraception?
Emergency Contraception and birth control is used to prevent a women from getting pregnant after she has had unprotected sex. Especially, if she thinks whatever method she used has failed. Of course, emergency contraception should not be used as regular birth control. You should talk to your doctor about birth control options if you find yourself needing to take emergency contraception a lot. This should only be a used for emergencies.
When you should use Emergency Contraception:
- When you have been forced to have sex
- You didn’t use any birth control
- When the condom broke or it came off
- Diaphragm slipping out of place
- Not pulling out in time
- Missing two or more birth control pills in a month
- Late getting your depo shot
- Any other reason you think you should use it. Always trust your instincts
There are two types of Emergency Contraception. They are as follows:
Emergency Contraceptive Pills (ECP)
With these types of pills, there are higher doses of the same hormones that are in regular birth control pills. With this pill, it will keep the egg from leaving your ovary. It also will help in preventing the sperm from joining the egg. There is only one pill to be used as ECP in the United States that is FDA approved. Most people know this pill as Plan B.
Plan B– Plan B is progestin only Emergency Contraceptive. Plan B is like birth control pills but with higher levels of hormones. If you choose to take the Plan B, you should take the pills 12 hours apart as there are two pills in a box. However, there is research now that indicates if you take both of these pills at the same time, it will not decrease the way it works.
This device is also known as the IUD. It’s a T-Shaped device that is placed in the uterus by your doctor within the 5 days of having unprotected sex. The IUD also works by keeping the egg and the sperm from joining. Another beneficial side effect of the IUD is that is keeps the egg from getting fertilized. Your doctor will be able to remove your IUD when you get your period. You could also leave the IUD in and use it as a birth control method for up ten years.
If the Emergency Contraception is used correctly, they work quite well at preventing unwanted pregnancies. There are about eight in one hundred women who have unprotected sex just one time during their ovulation period that will become pregnant. However, if all of these women were to take Emergency Contraception pills with progestin and estrogen, there will be about 2 of them that will become pregnant. Research shows that the IUD is even better because it has proven only one in one thousand women who had an IUD inserted after unprotected sex, have indeed became pregnant. The sooner you use either form of emergency contraception, the better it will work.
There are some symptoms you can experience from taking Emergency Contraception pills. They are as follows:
IUD side effects:
- Heavy Bleeding
How to get Emergency Contraceptive Pills
You can get these pills at any pharmacy. You can buy these without a prescription as long as you are 17 years of age or older. You will need your driver’s license for proof of age to purchase. If you are under the age of 17, you can still get the pills but you will need a prescription. Always talk to your doctor, family, parents, etc. if you need assistance with emergency contraceptive pills.
Compliments of Kshamica Nimalasuriya MD, MPH
Preventive Medicine & Public Health