Emergency Contraception: A to Z

emergency contraceptionEmergency birth control can help you prevent pregnancy even after you had unprotected intercourse or if your contraception failed to work. There are some types of Emergency contraceptives that are in the pill form or in barrier form. Some work for five days after you have had unprotected intercourse while others work for three days following the incident.

The most used form of emergency contraception is the morning after pill. Some are sold without prescriptions, while others are not. One such brand is Plan B emergency contraceptive pill.

  1. What is an emergency birth control?

Emergency contraception is a method of preventing pregnancy you can use if you had intercourse without using birth control or if the contraceptive did not work correctly. You must use it as soon as you have had made love to get more effectiveness out of the pill.

EC is not the same as abortion pill, despite popular misconception. The biggest difference being that if you are already pregnant, morning after pill cannot work, but the abortion pill can let you to terminate the pregnancy.

Day after pill is not meant to be and should not be used as a regular birth control pill.

  1. What types of Emergency contraceptive pills are available online?

Many women buy Plan B online as it is the most commonly used ECP worldwide.

  1. How do ECPs work?

Morning after pills mainly work by delaying or preventing ovulation, i.e. the act where the egg is released from the ovary. In a rare chance, emergency contraception may possibly prevent fertilization of the egg by the sperm if ovulation has already taken place. However, if the fertilized egg has already been implanted in the uterine lining [ i.e. you have already conceived], ECPs will not harm/stop your pregnancy.

Furthermore, there is also a chance the ECP might fail if the ovulation has already happened.

  1. When should one use Day after pill?

Consider using Plan B birth control in emergency cases like:

  • You didn’t or forgot to use your regular contraception
  • You think your birth control method did not work

For e.g. – a. Combined birth control pills – You did not take them every day or as instructed

b. Nuvaring – You put it in late or took it out too soon

c. Male condom – It split or had a tear hole.

  1. How quickly should one use ECP after unprotected intercourse?

Morning after pill works best when you use it as early as possible after you have unprotected intercourse. If you are unable to take it just after, the emergency birth control pill can still work to prevent conception if taken up to three to five days after unprotected intercourse. The capability of pregnancy prevention to protect from 3 to 5 days is dependent on the type of ECP in use.

For e.g. Plan B pills can be used for three days [ 72 hours] following the unprotected sexual activity.

  1. Can I get emergency contraceptive pills before I need them?

You can. There are many women who order plan B online and keep a stock of it, for them to use any time they need.