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The morning after pill: Fact versus fiction

Posted in Personal Health 03 Jan, 2013

Not without controversy, the morning after pill otherwise known as the emergency contraceptive pill continues to divide opinion-from those who believe it provides a woman who has had unprotected sex the ability to prevent an unwanted pregnancy, thus providing her with a choice. To those who believe that this pill advocates promiscuity, unsafe sex and abortion. Thus for many the confusion surrounding the morning-after pill does little to dissuade the countless misconceptions associated with this emergency contraceptive but rather actively fuels them. There are a number of common beliefs, many untrue that are related to the morning after pill. However, OnlineClinic separates fact from fiction.

The morning-after pill is for women who fail to use contraception

Fact: The two clinically approved morning-after pill medications Levonelle and ellaOne are used by women who have had unprotected sex as a result of not using contraception. However, these emergency contraceptive pills are also used by women who experience contraception failure such as condom tear and consequently have become pregnant despite practicing safe sex.

The morning-after pill is an abortion pill

The morning-after pill such as ellaOne and Levonelle have high levels of progesterone which is why emergency contraceptive pills cannot be taken in the same way as regular birth control pills. However, the morning after-pill essentially works in the same way, in which progesterone works to keep an egg from being fertilised, preventing ovulation. The morning-after pill therefore cannot cause abortion as it prevents fertilisation and has no effect on the implanted egg. Furthermore an abortion pill already exists in the form of mifepristone, which works by blocking the hormone progesterone, causing the lining of the wall to break down,and preventing pregnancy from continuing.

Emergency contraceptive pills must be taken straightaway

Fact: ellaOne can be taken up to 120 hours after having unprotected sex. Levonelle can be taken up to 72 hours after having unprotected sex, although its effectiveness may lesson slightly the later it is taken. It is therefore recommended that Levonelle be taken within 24 hours after having unprotected sex or contraceptive failure.

The morning-after pill can be used as a method of contraception

Fact: The emergency contraceptive pill is not to be used like regular birth control pills. Moreover, using the morning-after pill too frequently can disrupt your menstrual cycle.

Emergency contraceptives are 100% effective in preventing an unplanned pregnancy

Fact: Unfortunately although both emergency contraceptive pills have a high success rate, like most contraceptives they are not 100% in preventing an unplanned pregnancy from occurring. ellaOne has proven to be 98% effective if taken within 120 hours of unprotected sexual intercourse. Levonelle on the other hand is 95% effective after contraceptive failure after if it is taken within 24 hours after unprotected sex. However, its efficacy rate slightly drops down to 85% if it is taken any time between 25 and 48 hours. If it is taken up to 72 hours after unprotected sex it is only 58% effective.

Emergency contraceptive pills can prevent pregnancy until your next period

Fact: Although it can be used more than once during your monthly cycle, if a you have unprotected sex after it has already been taken, it will not protect you against pregnancy. You must use barrier protection such as a condom to protect yourself against the risk of pregnancy and return to your regular method of birth control once your next menstrual cycle begins.

You are only meant to get emergency contraceptives in an emergency

Fact: Emergency contraceptive pills can be purchased anytime at OnlineClinic after completing a free consultation. Having a supply of emergency contraceptive pills on hand will help prepare you in case you need to prevent yourself against an unwanted pregnancy. Furthermore, having the morning-after pill nearby will allow you to take it straightway if you have had unprotected sex and will giving you the best chance against preventing an unplanned pregnancy.

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