The morning after pill is a form of birth control. It is also referred to as the "emergency contraceptive method". It is used to prevent pregnancy in people who have unprotected sex or whose contraceptive method has failed.
It should only be considered as an emergency contraceptive method, not as a primary method of contraception. Some require a prescription, while others are available without a prescription.
In this article, we wanted to focus on the use of the morning after pill, and together we wanted to clarify the possible questions in your mind.
When can the morning after pill be used?
The sooner the better! The morning after pill is effective if taken up to 72 hours after unprotected sexual intercourse; but its effect changes depending on the time it is used. According to researches; When used within the first 12 hours, its protection level is 90%, after 24 hours it can drop to 75%, and after 48 hours to 58%.
It is very important to read the prospectus before using it, as each drug has a unique dosage. Misuse and excessive use may cause some health problems; should consider the possibility that underdosing as well as overdoses may reduce the effect of the pill.
In what situations can it be used?
Condom tearing or slipping
Disruption of regularly used birth control methods
Other drugs used play a role in reducing the effectiveness of birth control methods
Are there different types?
Today, there are 3 main types of morning after pills containing different hormones belonging to different brands on the market.
Those containing levonorgestrel; It consists of one tablet. It is recommended to be used within 72 hours at most.
Those containing ulipristal acetate; It consists of two tablets. It is stated that it is more effective than other morning after pills when used at the right time interval. It is considered appropriate to take up to 5 days. It is purchased by prescription.
Combined pills; Different doses are used in emergency contraception under doctor's control. It should be taken in higher doses. Its effectiveness is lower than other morning-after pills.
What are the risks of the morning after pill?
The morning after pill is only an effective option to prevent pregnancy after unprotected sex, it is not as effective as other methods of contraception and is not recommended for regular use.
Even with proper use, they can fail and offer no protection against sexually transmitted infections.
They are not suitable for everyone.
If you are allergic to any component of the morning after pill or if you are taking certain medications that may reduce the effectiveness of the morning after pill, beware if obesity is a part of your life! In these cases, it is recommended not to use the morning after pill.
What are the side effects of the morning after pill?
Some typical side effects that are common and can last for a few days include:
feeling of burnout
Disruption of menstruation (early onset or delay of menstruation)
Change in menstrual bleeding (may be lighter or more intense)
Unexpected light bleeding (especially before menstruation)
Pay attention to these when using the morning after pill!
Follow the instructions for the morning after pill and read the leaflet.
If you prefer the morning after pill consisting of single tablets; Use as soon as possible, no later than 72 hours after unprotected sex. If you are using dual tablets, be careful not to exceed 120 hours.
If you vomit within 2 hours of taking the morning after pill, be sure to consult a specialist about taking another dose.
Do not have sexual intercourse until you switch to another method of contraception. We said that the morning after pill does not provide permanent protection. There is always a risk of getting pregnant if you have unprotected sex in the days after taking the pill.
Taking the morning-after pill can delay your period for up to a week. If this takes up to 3-4 weeks, it may be a good idea to take a pregnancy test.
Under normal circumstances, it is not necessary to consult a healthcare professional after using the morning after pill; but if you have bleeding or spotting for more than 1 week, severe abdominal pain 3-5 weeks after taking it, you should definitely get a specialist's opinion. These symptoms may be signals of a miscarriage or an ectopic pregnancy.