Emergency contraceptives (EC) are used in case of accidental / missed pre-planned contraceptives such as missing birth control pills or broken condom. The most common method being the after morning pill, these tablets can be taken after the intercourse within 72 hours, i.e. 3 days.
How does it work?
Emergency contraception works by delaying ovulation that 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 existing pregnancy. In such case 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 contraceptive may be effective up to 5 days but even then the sooner the pill 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 Levonogestrel 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 mean for preventing pregnancy.
The first pill must be taken within three days or there is a high chance of it being in-effective, 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 an 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, duration to use morning after pill may have been passed.
Many health care providers and medicine experts are therefore fighting for women’s right to access emergency contraceptive 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 breast feeding 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
Debate over 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 the society for acceptance of pregnancy prevention matters. Dialogue should continue and to do so you should also present your views forth.