Emergency contraceptives (EC) are used in case of accidental / missed pre-planned contraceptives such as missing birth control pills or broken condoms. The most common method is the after-morning pill, these tablets can be taken after intercourse within 72 hours, i.e. 3 days.
How does it work?
Emergency contraception works by delaying ovulation which means, the time when your egg is released and has a possibility of getting fertilized by sperm. In some cases, it also works by preventing the fertilized egg from attaching itself to the uterine lining of the womb.
These pills however don’t work on an existing pregnancy. In such cases, abortion pills such as Mifeprex and Misoprostol should be used (if the pregnancy is within 10 weeks).
The day-after pill such as Plan B and its various generic variants help stop ovulation and should be taken within 72 hours of unprotected sex. Some research report state that emergency contraceptives may be effective for up to 5 days but even then the sooner the pill is taken, the better it works. (Plus its’ working is dependent on the location of your cycle).
What is day after pill?
Emergency contraceptive pills contain synthetic Levonorgestrel and Progestin that prevents the pregnancy by stopping the egg from attaching to the womb (implantation), delaying ovulation, and stopping fertilization. It contains two medicines which need to be taken in between 12 hours gap. Emergency contraceptives have zero risks pertaining to birth defects or pregnancy troubles later; therefore this is a trusted means for preventing pregnancy.
The first pill must be taken within three days or there is a high chance of it being ineffective, especially after the 5th day.
Is it available over the counter?
In many clinics, day-after pills which are progestin-only are sold as over-the-counter drugs. This, law, however is not applicable all over the world. In many regions, you need to get a prescription to acquire after-morning pills.
In some states, Plan B one-step and its various generic variants like ‘Next choice one dose’ and ‘my way’ are unrestrictedly sold on drug store shelves. In such cases, women under seventeen also can buy them without ID or prescription (progestin-only emergency contraceptive tablets).
As this is not applicable everywhere, prescribed emergency contraceptive is the only legal pregnancy preventive measure in other places. Due to restrictive laws, women cannot buy such contraception if they are under 17 or don’t have a prescription. As this law may affect the cause of the pill as acquiring a prescription may take some time, and duration to use the morning after the pill may have been passed.
Many healthcare providers and medical experts are therefore fighting for women’s right to access emergency contraceptives without going through the hurdle of getting a doctor’s prescription.
Nowadays you can buy EC such Plan B online, but it is important to confirm if the source should be trusted.
Women who are breastfeeding or diabetic should not consume Plan B tablets, In case of vomiting within two hours of consumption of either tablet, one should repeat that dose.
Changing views on contraception
The debate over the accessibility of contraception and pregnancy cancelation continues, even so proper sex education is changing people’s views. Due to access of emergency contraceptives and birth control methods, even abortion rates are dwindling.
As this is an important social and personal matter it is the people’s perception that will lead society for acceptance of pregnancy prevention matters. Dialogue should continue and to do so you should also present your views forth.