Udayavni Special

Emergency contraceptives and its effects

Team Udayavani, Apr 14, 2021, 12:31 PM IST

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Emergency contraception (EC) is a form of contraception used to avoid pregnancy. It is also called the ‘morning after’ and ‘post coital’ pill.

Emergency contraception is efficient only a few days after intercourse until the ovum is released from the ovary and the sperm fertilizes the ovum. EC pills cannot induce abortion as they cannot disrupt an ongoing pregnancy or damage a developing embryo.

About 85% of births are avoided by Emergency contraception, but it is not a substitute for daily contraception.

When to use emergency contraception?

You might need to use emergency contraception, if a condom is torn or fallen off during intercourse or if you have missed two or more birth control pills in a month.

Oral contraception work by delaying ovulation. They temporarily block the egg release and delay fertilization or prevent a fertilized egg from implanting in the uterus.

The morning after pills can be used as emergency contraception. In order to avoid being pregnant, you must take more than one pill at a time.

Inserting copper T which hinders implantation is another method of emergency contraception.

The possible side effects of emergency contraception include nausea and vomiting, stomach pain, breast tenderness, headache, dizziness, and fatigue.

The side effects do not last longer than a few days after treatment and disappear within 24 hours.

The menstrual cycle is also interrupted for a brief period of time. Progestogen withdrawal bleeding, caused by the hormones in the pills (either progestin alone or progestin combined with estrogen) may occur in few cases if the pills are taken before ovulation.

Emergency pills may offer a great deal of relief for women, it is important to use them only at a time of dire need and shouldn’t be a habit.

Disclaimer: Always consult your gynecologist and opt for a safe contraceptive programme.

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