What is Emergency Contraception?

Emergency contraception, also known as the morning-after pill or post-coital contraception, is a form of birth control used to prevent pregnancy after unprotected intercourse or contraceptive failure. It is not intended for regular use but acts as a backup option to prevent unwanted pregnancies in emergency situations.

Understanding Emergency Contraception 1

Types of Emergency Contraceptives

There are several types of emergency contraceptives available. The most common ones include: To improve your understanding of the topic, we suggest exploring this external source. You’ll find supplementary information and new perspectives that will enrich your understanding. morning after pill buy online https://click2pharmacy.co.uk/online-clinic/emergency-contraception/, check it out!

  • 1. Emergency Contraceptive Pills (ECPs): These are oral pills that contain hormones like levonorgestrel or ulipristal acetate. They work by preventing or delaying ovulation, inhibiting fertilization, or interfering with implantation.
  • 2. Copper Intrauterine Device (IUD): It is a long-acting reversible contraceptive that can also be used as an emergency contraceptive. When inserted within five days of unprotected intercourse, it can effectively prevent pregnancy.
  • How Does Emergency Contraception Work?

    The mechanism of action of emergency contraception depends on the type of contraceptive used:

  • 1. Emergency Contraceptive Pills (ECPs): Levonorgestrel-based pills mainly work by preventing or delaying ovulation. Ulipristal acetate-based pills inhibit or delay ovulation and interfere with implantation.
  • 2. Copper IUD: Copper ions released by the IUD create a spermicidal environment and prevent fertilization. Additionally, it alters the lining of the uterus, making implantation less likely.
  • It is important to note that emergency contraception is not the same as an abortion pill. If a woman is already pregnant, emergency contraception will not terminate the pregnancy.

    When Should Emergency Contraception Be Used?

    Emergency contraception should be used in the following situations:

  • 1. Unprotected intercourse: If you had sex without using any contraception or if a condom broke, emergency contraception can help prevent pregnancy.
  • 2. Contraceptive failure: If your regular contraceptive method failed, such as a forgotten birth control pill, a dislodged condom, or a slipped diaphragm.
  • 3. Sexual assault: In cases of sexual assault, emergency contraception can be an important option to prevent pregnancy.
  • Effectiveness of Emergency Contraception

    The effectiveness of emergency contraception depends on various factors:

  • 1. Time: The sooner emergency contraception is taken after unprotected intercourse, the more effective it is. Some pills need to be taken within 72 hours, while others may be effective up to 120 hours after intercourse. Copper IUDs can be used up to five days after unprotected sex.
  • 2. Body weight: Some studies suggest that emergency contraception may be less effective in women with a higher body weight. However, it is still recommended even if you are overweight or obese.
  • 3. Previous history of contraceptive failure: If you have experienced contraceptive failure before, emergency contraception may be less effective for you.
  • Possible Side Effects and Considerations

    Emergency contraception is generally safe to use, but like any medication, it can have side effects. These may include:

  • 1. Nausea or vomiting: Some women may experience nausea or vomiting after taking emergency contraceptive pills, but these symptoms usually subside within a few hours.
  • 2. Irregular menstrual bleeding: Emergency contraception can cause temporary changes in menstrual bleeding patterns. Your next period may come earlier or later than expected or may be heavier or lighter than usual.
  • 3. Breast tenderness: Some women may experience breast tenderness or swelling after taking emergency contraception, but these symptoms typically resolve on their own.
  • It is important to keep in mind that emergency contraception does not provide any protection against sexually transmitted infections (STIs). If you are concerned about STIs, it is advisable to use barrier methods of contraception, such as condoms.

    Where Can You Get Emergency Contraception?

    Emergency contraception is available over the counter at most pharmacies and drug stores without a prescription. It is also available at family planning clinics and some healthcare provider offices. Additionally, many online platforms offer discreet and confidential ordering of emergency contraception.


    Emergency contraception is an important option for preventing unintended pregnancies in emergency situations. It is essential to have knowledge about the different types of emergency contraceptives, their mechanisms of action, and when and how to use them. While emergency contraception is highly effective, it should not be used as a regular method of contraception. If you have any concerns or questions about emergency contraception, it is always best to consult with a healthcare professional. Complete your reading experience by accessing this recommended external resource. In it, you’ll find valuable and additional information to broaden your knowledge of the subject. https://Click2pharmacy.co.uk, give it a look!

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