A night of passion and a morning of regret? Nah!
Emergency pills (EP), also known as morning-after pills or e-pills are here to save you. These pills are for emergencies and you can take them up to 72 hours after having unprotected sex to avoid getting pregnant. They are over-the-counter drugs which means you can buy them from a pharmacy without a doctor’s prescription.
EPs delay ovulation preventing the sperm to meet the egg and hence, no baby. They also prevent pregnancy by preventing a fertilized egg from attaching to the wall of the uterus or by blocking fertilization. You need to take the pill within 72 hours of having unprotected sex. The sooner you take the better. Just to be prepared, keep it at home for those moments! Remember, these pills only help prevent pregnancy. So, if you’re already pregnant the pills won’t be of any help, and if you take them beyond the 72-hour window they most probably won’t be effective.
You can take EPs as many times as you’ve had unprotected sex. But make sure you don’t take it as a regular contraception pill. They are called ‘emergency pills’ for a reason. They have a high concentration of hormones and hence, are suggested to be taken only on emergent situations. You may face some short-term side effects after taking the pill. The effects include abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, fatigue, and headaches. They can also delay or hurry in your next period.
There are a few restrictions that prevent you from taking the pill. If your Body Mass Index (BMI) is higher than 25, you have abnormal vaginal bleeding, you have acute migraines, or have a history of deep vein thrombosis, it’s better to consult a doctor and proceed with the prevention. If you vomit soon after the pill, make sure you visit the doc to find out how effective it would be and what other options you have. If you do not get your period three weeks after taking the pill, get a pregnancy test done.
Another important thing, EPs do not protect you from sexually transmitted infections (STIs). So, if you think you had unprotected sex, make sure you get yourself tested ASAP and in the future make a mental note to always carry a condom just in case.
We all dream of an unexpected passionate encounter that leaves us satisfied. But being prepared is always a good call. Why let the ‘emergency’ situation happen when you have so many contraception options available to you?
Until next time, stay safe, play safe!