Women having unprotected sexual intercourse with their partner, or having multiple sex partners are at a greater risk of becoming pregnant against their will. Married women can also face this problem at times, when the contraception method chosen by them fails to work and prevent pregnancy. For such instances, you can always use the emergency contraception available on the market and avoid an unwanted pregnancy. As such you have two options for avoiding pregnancy after having an unprotected intercourse. One is using the morning after pill, while the other is using an IUD, a small T shaped piece of plastic or copper place into the opening of your womb to prevent the sperm from entering it. But, oral contraception is the most popular method among women for avoiding pregnancy and it can be effective up to 3-5 days after having an unprotected sex.
Emergency contraceptive pills
The most popular emergency contraception pills available on the market are are Levonelle and ellaOne; of which Levonelle is effective up to 3 days after having an unprotected sex while ellaOne is effective up to 5 days. ellaOne, because of its effectivene, is becoming a preference among women.
Both the pills pills work by releasing the female hormone progesterone, which in natural conditions, when a women is pregnant, prevents the egg from getting fertilized, and if an egg does get fertilized, then it prevents the same from getting implanted into your womb.
Levonelle – The morning after pill
Levonelle is more commonly known as the ‘morning after pill’, which has been proven to be 95% effective in preventing pregnancy in women, but is best effective when taken within the first 24 hours. This pill can be taken by women who are above the age of 18 years, but should be avoided by women who are already pregnant and those with severe liver dysfunction. This pill, with the help of its active ingredient levonorgestrel, tricks your body into believing that ovulation has already occurred so that an egg is not produced. It also thickens the natural mucus in your womb so that a sperm cannot enter it and fertilize an egg. You can take this pill with or without food. If in case you vomit within two to three hours of taking the pill, you must take another one as soon as possible and also contact your doctor or nurse for advice. Some of the commonly reported side effects of Levonelle are headaches, stomach pain, diarrhoea and fatigue.
ellaOne – The latest development
ellaOne is an emergency contraception pill, which can be used to prevent unwanted pregnancy up to 5 days or 120 hours after having an unprotected intercourse. This pill has been proven to be almost 98% effective in preventing pregnancy in women, but is considered to be most effective when taken in the initial 3 day period. Women who are above the age of 18 years can take this pill. It is also safe for you if you are breastfeeding, but you should avoid it for 36 hours after taking the pill. The pill should not be taken if you are on medications for conditions such as HIV, bacterial infections and are on herbal remedies such as St. John’s Wort, as the pills effective can decrease. The most commonly noticed side effects are irregular bleeding, diarrhoea, vomiting, headache, lower abdomen pain, dizziness and a delayed period.
Women who are worried about weight gain can now avoid such a situation with the help of emergency contraception pills.