Emergency contraceptives are devices or drug that is used to prevent pregnancy after having an unprotected sexual intercourse. Most of the couples plan to avoid pregnancy during the initial period of their married life or to extend the time gap between two children.
There are birth control methods such as condoms, birth control pills etc to prevent pregnancy but in case of failure of such methods the emergency contraceptives are beneficial to avoid the chances of being pregnant.
Emergency contraceptive pills are also called morning after pill, morning after contraception or day after pill and most of these pills are effective only if taken within 72 -120 hours of having unprotected sex.
How it Works
Emergency contraceptives avoid pregnancy by blocking or stopping the egg release or by affecting the sperm. It may also prevent the implantation of egg on the uterine wall by making the uterine lining inhospitable for a pregnancy.
Pregnancy happens only when the embryo gets implanted on the uterine wall and hence emergency contraceptive can prevent pregnancy if taken within 72 hours to 120 hours of unprotected sexual intercourse. Fertility status of uterus will be retained in the next menstrual cycle except in cases where birth control methods are adopted.
Types of Emergency Contraceptive Methods
Emergency contraceptive pills are of different types. One type contains progestin hormone which helps to prevent the chances for getting pregnant up to 88% and have less side effects. Another type of pills contains ulipristal acetate which is a very effective pill that can be taken even after 5 days of intercourse.
Third type of pills contains both progestin and estrogen and the chances for preventing pregnancy is 75% with such types of pills. It may also cause nausea and vomiting. Another type of pills uses small doses of mifepristone that is very effective and has fewer side effects.
Copper-T IUD is another effective emergency contraception method that reduces the risk of pregnancy by 99%. The most advantageous feature of copper-T is that it can be used to prevent pregnancy for up to ten years.
Even if these emergency contraceptive methods fail and the woman gets pregnant, they may not create long term harmful effects on the fetus or pregnancy. Emergency contraceptives can’t be used as birth control methods in sexually active women as they are not effective as that of birth control methods.