Emergency Contraception has been used if a woman’s primary method of birth control fails. It should not be used as a regular method of birth control. It keeps a woman from getting pregnant when she has had unprotected vaginal intercourse. “Unprotected” can mean that no method of birth control was used. It can also mean that a birth control method was used but it was used incorrectly, or did not work (like a condom breaking). Or, a woman may have forgotten to take her birth control pills. She also may have been abused or forced to have sex. These are just some of the reasons women may need emergency contraception.
- Last Chance:
Emergency contraception offers women a last chance to prevent pregnancy after unprotected intercourse. Emergency contraception is especially important for outreach to the 4.5 million women worldwide at risk of pregnancy but not using a regular method by providing a bridge to use of an ongoing contraceptive method.
- Doesn’t fight against sexually transmitted diseases :
Emergency contraception does not protect you from sexually transmitted diseases. To lower your risk of getting an STI, always use condoms when you have vaginal, oral, or anal sex. Although emergency contraceptives do not protect against sexually transmitted infection, they do offer reassurance to the 8.6 million women who rely on condoms for protection against pregnancy in case of condom slippage or breakage.
3. Side effects
Side effects include nausea and vomiting, abdominal pain, breast tenderness, headache, dizziness, and fatigue. These usually do not occur for more than a few days after treatment, and they generally resolve within 24 hours
- Effects on pregnancy
There have been no conclusive studies of births to women who were already pregnant when they took combined ECPs or following failure of combined ECPs99 (types of emergency contraception). However, one study of 332 pregnant women who had used levonorgestrel-only ECPs in the conception cycle found no increased risk of birth defects.
5. How it works :
Emergency contraception can be taken as a single pill treatment or in two doses. A single dose treatment works as well as two doses and does not have more side effects. It works by stopping the ovaries from releasing an egg or keeping the sperm from joining with the egg. For the best chances for it to work, take the pill as soon as possible after unprotected sex. It should be taken within 72 hours after having unprotected sex.
- Availability :
A single-pill dose or two-pill dose of emergency contraception is available over-the-counter (OTC) for women ages 17 and older.
- Not always best for the adolescence:
A policy of either pre-prescribing “emergency contraceptives” to adolescent patients, or making them available without prescription, carries significant medical risk of sexually transmitted diseases and is counterproductive to the parent-adolescent and patient-physician relationships.
- It’s just for emergency :
Don’t use emergency contraceptive pill on regular basis! While emergency contraception pills are safe for emergency use, they have not been tested as regular birth control and are not approved by the FDA for this purpose. Most other types of FDA-approved birth control, when used correctly, are much better at preventing pregnancy than emergency contraception pills and usually cost less.
- It may affects menstrual cycle :
Maybe. After you take an emergency contraception pill, your next period may come sooner or later than normal. Most women will get their period within a week of the expected date. Your period also may be heavier, lighter, spotty, and more or less painful than is normal for you.
Emergency contraception provides women with a last chance to prevent pregnancy after unprotected sex. Women deserve that last chance, and barriers to availability should be eliminated. But it is unlikely that expanding access will have a major impact on reducing the rate of unintended pregnancy, primarily because the incidence of unprotected intercourse is so high, ECPs are only moderately effective, and ECPs are not used often enough