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What You Need To Know About Emergency Contraceptives

| Articles | January 2, 2014

We live in the modern world, and with modernization comes a change in the way society thinks. The then prudish outlook on sex has been replaced by a more liberated mindset that is open to the idea of casual sex. It is because of this change that more and more contraceptive products are being released into the market. One of the more popular birth control product are emergency birth control pills.

Emergency contraception

Emergency birth control pills, also referred to as “morning-after” pills, refer to contraceptive pills that are taken after sex with the intention of preventing pregnancy. It is used occasionally, when primary means of birth fails or when no other means of contraception are unavailable at the time of intercourse.

These pills were designed to be taken withing seventy-two hours of having sex, with a second dose to follow after twelve hours. As compared to abortion pills, emergency birth control pills aim to prevent pregnancy from occurring, and not terminate an existing pregnancy. Emergency birth control methods act before implantation takes place. It is because of this fact that emergency contraceptives were accepted both medically and legally. It is considered a hormonal birth control method as it may contain estrogen, progestin, or both. It differs from the typical birth control pills in terms of the doses of the hormones they contain. Just like in the regular birth control pill, the estrogen stops the ovaries from releasing eggs, the progestin prevents the sperm from reaching the egg and prevents implantation of a fertilized egg.

On average, the combination emergency birth control pill decreases the chances of becoming pregnant by seventy-five percent. The more preferred type of emergency contraceptive pill is the progestin-only pill. On average, reduces the risk of having an accidental pregnancy by eighty-nine percent. Effectivity increases to ninety-five percent when taken twenty-four hours after having intercourse.

Although helpful, these medications also come with side effects, these side effects include: nausea, vomiting, breast-tenderness, fatigue, abdominal pain, irregular bleeding or spotting, headaches, and in some cases, dizziness. Most women prefer using the progestin-only pill as it has relatively lesser side effects than that of the combined estrogen and progestin emergency birth control pill. Using emergency contraceptive pills is generally safe as it does not bear any harmful effect to an already growing baby inside a mother’s womb. Also, keep in mind that even if these pills are effective, they will not protect you against sexually transmitted disease.

Obtaining emergency birth control pills is generally easy. For women seventeen years and below, emergency contraceptive pills can be bought on a prescription basis. But for women 18 years and older, these are approved for sale even without prescription at any drugstore, all that is required is an id to prove your age.

Choosing to engage in casual, unprotected sex is risky. It leave you open not only to accidental or unwanted pregnancies, it also leaves you at risk of acquiring sexually transmitted diseases. So always keep in mind that aside from using contraceptive methods, it is best to keep the number of sexual partners down to a minimum and to know your partner’s sexual history in order to also keep yourself disease-free.

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