Aug 21, 2017 Emergency Contraception
Emergency contraception saves many women from having unwanted pregnancies. Condoms splitting, unexpected sex or forgetting to take the pill can result in the need to take emergency contraception (EC). Often women only take EC once and then review their regular contraception methods. However relying on emergency contraception as a way to prevent pregnancy can become a habit. The Morning After Pill contains a much higher dose of hormones than the regular contraceptive pill. It is a very effective way to prevent pregnancy but should not be relied upon as a form of contraception. If you find that you are regularly using emergency contraception you should consider visiting your doctor, who will suggest alternative forms of birth control.
Emergency contraception Is very similar to the regular contraceptive pill, except that it contains a much higher dose of hormones. It works by preventing ovulation so that conception cannot take place. EllaOne and Levonelle are the most popular brands of emergency contraception. EllaOne can be taken up to five days after unprotected sex and Levonelle up to three. Both pills are most effective when taken as soon as possible after unprotected sex. Both tablets stop pregnancy from occurring but will not cause any harm if you are already pregnant. Unless your doctor says otherwise it is perfectly safe to take these tablets. Doctors are not completely sure if taking emergency contraception regularly carries any health risks.
Although there are no real medical reasons behind regularly taking the morning after pill, there are practical considerations. If you are taking emergency regularly then it is safe to say that you expect to have sex more than, ‘once in a blue moon’. Now is the time to review your contraception. An alternative to using EllaOne or Levonelle is the insertion of a copper coil, as soon as possible, after unprotected sex. This works by preventing an egg from settling in the womb or being fertilized. If you choose this method the coil can remain and become your method of contraception.
There are many forms of contraception that suit everybody’s needs. If you are happy to take hormone based products you can choose from; the pill, mini pill, injection, Mirena Coil and an implant. If you want to avoid hormones the following may appeal; copper coil, condoms, female condom, diaphragm and cap. The morning after pill does not protect against sexually transmitted diseases so you will need to take that into consideration when choosing contraception. All contraception is effective but not fail safe. Every time you have intercourse you are increasing your chances of becoming pregnant. To summarise nobody really knows what the long term effects of regularly taking emergency contraception. However, it is not an ideal form of birth control so you should consider the best method for you.
By Parv Sagoo (June 2018)
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