How to Use Emergency Contraceptive Pills

  posted by: Rio Dianne



mornong after pill emergency contraceptiveIn our previous article, we told you about what emergency oral contraceptive pills are.   If you were able to read that, more or less you already have an idea about it.   But for some who don’t have any idea what emergency contraceptives are. Read this.

An emergency contraceptive pill or also known as morning-after pill, EC or ECP is taken few hours after unprotected intercourse to prevent pregnancy. There are different types of ECPs available though the most common brand name is the Plan B One Step pills.  The Yaz pill can also be used as an emergency contraception. In addition, you can also use other oral contraceptive pills as EC.

The intrauterine device (IUD) can also be used as an emergency contraception although it’s usually used as a primary method. But in this article we’ll focus mainly on the pills and how to use emergency contraceptive pills.

How do Emergency Contraceptive Pills Work ?

The morning-after pills work by giving one’s body a burst of synthetic hormones that would disrupt the hormone patterns needed for impregnation to occur.  The hormones may either delay a woman’s ovulation, affect the lining of the uterus, or blocks the fertilization process.

How to Use Emergency Contraceptive Pills?

ECPs should be taken as soon as after the unprotected intercourse was done without using birth control pills.  The first dose should be taken within 120 hours though effectiveness is much higher when taken 24-72 hours after sex. Then a second dose should be taken 12 hours after the first dose was taken.

Side Effects

Though the side effects are rare, a woman under the ECP should watch out for nausea, vomiting, headaches, dizziness, abdominal pain, breast tenderness, and fatigue. These are just minor effects, however if they don’t go away after 2 days, you should consult a doctor.

Other Facts you Need to Know

  • An emergency contraceptive pill is not used as an abortion pill as it cannot terminate a pregnancy that has already happened.
  • Morning after pills does not free and protect a woman against STDs and other diseases.
  • Women and men over 17 years old do not need prescription to buy the pills.  They are commonly available at most pharmacies including Rite Aid, Walgreens, and CVS.
  • ECPs are up to 89 percent effective when taken within 3 days after unprotected coitus and up to 95 percent effective when taken within 24 hours.

We hope that this article about how to use emergency contraception has helped you. Remember, if you don’t intend to get pregnant, you can go to Planned parenthood or other healthcare providers to know more about pregnancy related stuff.


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