Did you know that one in nine women under 30 have used the morning-after pill after sex? You can take this form of emergency contraception if you’ve had unprotected sex, or something has gone wrong such as you’ve forgotten to take the contraceptive pill or a condom has broken during sex. Although misleading as you don’t have to take it the morning after, the sooner you do take it, the more effective it is. There are two main brands of the morning-after pill, Levonelle in which you can take up to three days after unprotected sex and EllaOne which can be used up to five days after.
There are many myths surrounding types of emergency contraception, so here are a few in which we are going to clear up for you.
Myth 1: Using the emergency contraceptive pill is effectively getting an abortion
Emergency contraception prevents ovulation from taking place, so that throws this myth out of the water. An abortion can only happen once ovulation, fertilization, and implantation have occurred, so if it is stopped before ovulation occurred, then abortion is impossible.
Myth 2: It’s difficult to get hold of emergency contraception
It’s so easy to get the emergency contraceptive pill that you can buy it online. No more potentially awkward conversations with pharmacists or doctors, so there’s no excuse not to get it if you do need it. You can also get it from A&E as well as family planning clinics throughout the country and the majority of them will offer it for free.
Myth 3: The emergency contraceptive pill can make you infertile
Fertility is only briefly interrupted by the contraceptive pill. Therefore you will still be able to conceive in the future. Emergency contraception only prevents pregnancy after having sex the once and must be taken after the act has taken place. Side effects caused by said pill can also be less than those of regular contraception.
Myth 4: Emergency contraceptives can prevent STD’s
In the same way that standard contraceptive pills cannot prevent STD’s, you should still use condoms if you are unaware of any underlying conditions that your partner may have. If you are worried about STD’s though, tests can be done at various doctors clinics, family planning clinics and some pharmacies throughout the country. Better to be safe than sorry!
You can’t use it as an alternative to traditional contraceptives if you don’t plan on becoming pregnant but do have sex at regular intervals throughout the month. One of the reasons is that it is nowhere near as effective as condoms or the contraceptive pill, and you won’t be prescribed the treatment regularly. Also, it generally should not be used more than once in a month because then it can mess up your menstrual cycle and cause changes to your period.