Contraception: The “Morning After” Pill

Hopefully you will never be in a situation where you need to think about emergency contraception. But if you miss a pill, or the condom breaks, or you were raped, it is your best bet to avoid an unwanted pregnancy. While the copper IUD (brand name: Paragard) can also be used as emergency contraception, I am going to focus on the types of contraception I have not previously discussed.

There are several different brand names of emergency contraception, including ella, Next Choice, and the most commonly known, Plan B One Step. When someone uses the colloquial term “morning after pill” they are referring to one of these.

Next Choice and Plan B both work like an extra heavy dose of the birth control pill. Their active ingredient is progestin, which is the same hormone that is commonly found in the birth control pill. The other brand, ella, uses a different ingredient, called ulipristal acetate, but all of these work in the exact same way.

The morning after pills work to prevent a woman from ovulating, just like the regular birth control pill. If she doesn’t ovulate, then there is no chance of pregnancy. The ones containing progestin also thicken the cervical mucus, and prevent sperm from reaching the uterus. With all of these, the most common side effects are nausea and vomiting.

Through federal mandate, anyone over the age of 17 can get these pills over the counter at a pharmacy by asking for it. If you are 17 or under, it does require a prescription from a doctor.

There is a lot of misinformation out there about the morning after pills, specifically that they will cause an abortion. This is absolutely false. If you are pregnant, taking any of the morning after pills will not cause you to lose the pregnancy.

Friday’s post will be about the other forms of emergency contraception, including abortion.  

Posted on March 28, 2012, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. God BLESS the morning after pill! I have had several girlfriends that needed them, and when they did I had a collection from all my biannual trips to Planned Parenthood since I was 16 and STARTED becoming sexually active.

    I can’t tell you how many times my g/f was like, “my sister needs one, do you have any left?” I’m like “sure! Here you go.” Things ain’t cheap! I miss Planned Parenthood. They’ve been my second family since I was a kid! Now they’re closing them left and right! :( I don’t like having to go to Richmond to attend one you know, and I’ve been to every single one up and down the coast of Cali from Sacramento to Santa Cruz, cuz a libidinous girl on the move and on the go always needs birth control no matter where she lives!

    I’d be in so much trouble if it weren’t for them, and the course of my life could’ve been altered forever had they NOT been there for me and many a woman I know and love.

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