The morning-after pill is a type of birth control method. It is also referred to as “emergency birth control method”. It is used to prevent pregnancy in people who have had unprotected sex or whose birth control method has failed.
It should only be considered as an emergency contraceptive method and not as a primary contraceptive method. While some require a prescription, others are available without a prescription.
In this article, we decided to take the use of the morning after pill into the spotlight, and we wanted to clarify the possible questions you may have here.
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 varies depending on when it is used. According to researches; While its protection is around 90% when used within the first 12 hours, it can drop to 75% after 24 hours and 58% after 48 hours.
Since each drug has its own dosage, it is very important to read the leaflet before use. Misuse and excessive use may cause some health problems; In addition to overdoses, the patient should also consider the possibility that missing doses may reduce the effect of the pill.
In what situations can it be used?
Condom breaking or slipping
Disruption of regularly used birth control methods
Other drugs used may reduce the effectiveness of birth control methods
unprotected sexual intercourse
Are there different types?
There are three main types of morning-after pills on the market today, from different brands and containing different hormones.
Those containing levonorgestrel; It consists of a single tablet. It is recommended to use it within 72 hours at most.
Contains ulipristal acetate; It consists of double 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 it for up to 5 days. It is purchased by prescription.
Combined pills; Different doses are used for emergency contraception under doctor's supervision. It needs to be taken in higher doses. It is less effective than other morning after pills.
What are the risks of the morning after pill?
Morning-after pills are the only effective option for preventing pregnancy after unprotected sex, they are not as effective as other birth control methods and are not recommended for regular use.
Even with proper use, they can fail and provide 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 take certain medications that may reduce the effectiveness of the morning after pill, or if obesity is a part of your life, be careful! In these cases, it is recommended that you do not use the morning after pill.
What are the side effects of the morning after pill?
Some typical side effects that may occur frequently and may last for a few days include:
feeling of exhaustion
Menstrual irregularity (early start or delay in menstruation)
Change in menstrual bleeding (may be lighter or heavier)
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 be sure to read the package insert.
If you prefer the morning after pill consisting of single tablets; Use it as soon as possible, within 72 hours of unprotected sexual intercourse. If you use 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 birth control method. We said that the morning after pill does not provide permanent protection. If you have unprotected sex in the days after using the pill, there is always a risk of getting pregnant.
Using the morning-after pill can delay your period for up to a week. If this period extends 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; However , if you have bleeding or spotting that lasts longer than 1 week or severe abdominal pain 3-5 weeks after taking it, be sure to get an expert opinion. These symptoms may be signals of a miscarriage or ectopic pregnancy.