In this Article
- What are Emergency Contraceptive Pills?
- Types of Emergency Contraceptive Pills
- Common Side Effects of Emergency Contraceptive Pills
- Do Emergency Contraceptive Pills Have Any Side Effects on Future Pregnancy?
- Are There Any Long-Term Side Effects of Taking Emergency Contraceptive Pills?
- How Long Does the Side-Effects Last?
- Who Should Avoid Consuming These Pills?
The peace of mind that you receive from not having an unwanted or unplanned pregnancy is unparalleled. Out of the numerous forms of contraception methods, pills are the most popular. This is because they are the most accessible, the least invasive, and the easiest way to use. Emergency contraception pills are growing in demand around the world; which is why it is essential to understand what these pills are and what, if any, are the side effects of taking these pills.
What are Emergency Contraceptive Pills?
The emergency contraceptive pill is a type of oral medication taken to avoid unwanted pregnancies that should be taken post-coital. These pills are commonly referred to as the day-after pills or morning-after pills. Women often use these pills after a night of unprotected sex. These pills are growing in popularity around the world as a form of emergency contraception; this means these pills should not be used regularly. It is recommended that you use other methods of contraception like condoms and birth control pills as a primary method of pregnancy prevention. The postcoital emergency contraception should only work as a secondary form of contraception on an SOS basis.
Types of Emergency Contraceptive Pills
When it comes to emergency contraceptive pills, you get numerous options. Most of these options include something known as a copper intrauterine device more commonly known as an IUD. Here are some popular types of the morning after pill.
- Combination Pills: These type of pills thicken the cervical mucus making it difficult for the sperm to move. At the same time, they help in thinning of the uterus lining which makes it hard for the eggs to attach. These pills contain both estrogen and progestin.
- Mini-Pills: These pills work in the same way as combination pills. It suppresses ovulation by preventing the sperm from reaching the egg and. The main difference is that they do not contain estrogen and is recommended for those who are unable to take the same.
Plan-B and Next Choice are pills that are made of levonorgestrel, if the pharmacy doesn’t recognise the brand then ask them for levonorgestrel contraceptive pills. Ella is a ulipristal acetate pill, this is much stronger, and doctors recommend this pill be taken with caution. All these pills work as hormonal blockers and hormonal modifiers that can be used post-coital to prevent pregnancies; this should not be confused with abortion pills that are taken to terminate a pregnancy.
Common Side Effects of Emergency Contraceptive Pills
As with any medication, these pills come with some side effects, here are some of these:
1. Irregular Periods
A common side effect of emergency contraceptive pills on periods is the length of the period itself; some women experience an earlier menstrual cycle, others experience one that could be at most a week late. If it is later than a week, you should consult a doctor and have a pregnancy test done.
2. Excessive Bleeding
These pills are also on rare occasions known to cause excessive bleeding once taken; this should only last a couple of days. If the bleeding lasts longer than two days, consult a doctor immediately, this could be a sign of something more serious.
3. Dizziness and Vomiting
A pill that contains levonorgestrel can cause some dizziness and vomiting while the medicine is taking effect, the same side-effects are known to occur with combination contraceptive pills, this symptom should wear off within the first three days.
One of the most common side-effects of the morning after pill is fatigue, this should only affect you for a day or two, if the fatigue is exceptionally severe and you find it hard to perform any movement, please consult a doctor.
Do Emergency Contraceptive Pills Have Any Side Effects on Future Pregnancy?
Under normal circumstances, doctors assume that contraceptive pills do not cause any harm to future pregnancies, there is a small risk of any contraceptive pill obstructing your chances of being pregnant again, it is, however, recommended that you consult a doctor for a thorough prognosis of how these pills could affect your body as every person’s anatomy is different and so is the body’s reaction to medication.
In the case of your body rejecting or reacting badly to the pill, it could hamper a future pregnancy, this, however, is extremely rare. It is important to recognise that using emergency contraceptives also causes a hormonal imbalance, this could lead to you taking more time to get pregnant, but any scientific study or body do not lower the chances.
Are There Any Long-Term Side Effects of Taking Emergency Contraceptive Pills?
Emergency contraceptives can cause long-lasting side-effects if taken too frequently or if your body does not agree with the type of medication, some of these long-term side effects are:
- Weight gain is the most common long-term side effect of these hormonal contraceptive pills.
- These pills could destabilise your body in infrequent situations causing respiratory disorders.
- In sporadic cases, these hormonal imbalances caused by emergency contraceptive pills could lead to gallbladder diseases.
- A common side-effect is an imbalance in blood pressure, most notably high blood pressure.
- These pills can be both a direct and indirect source of clinical depression.
- Some women, those in the extreme minority, experience ovarian cysts.
To better understand what the long-term side effects of these pills are and what are the chances you are affected by these side effects; please consult your medical care supervisor. It is commonly accepted by doctors that the side-effects faced by women on contraceptives are on rare occasions and these pills are usually very safe.
How Long Does the Side-Effects Last?
The duration of the side-effect on your body can depend heavily on your body and immune system as well as the kind of side-effect you face. It is a good idea to seek the counsel of a trusted doctor for a more case-specific prognosis and a better understanding of what to expect regarding the side-effects you face.
Who Should Avoid Consuming These Pills?
It is very sternly recommended that women who are pregnant do not attempt using these pills, it could harm the pregnancy. It is also advised that women with clotting disorders, PCOS, extremely high blood pressure and depression avoid these pills as much as possible. For more accurate information, please have your doctor perform the required tests and give you his professional opinion.
It is highly recommended that you consult a medical professional before taking emergency contraceptive pills, do not self-medicate on these pills or use them frequently without the guidance of a doctor, they could have life-altering consequences. Contraception is essential, it is, however, always recommended that you use prevention techniques for pregnancy rather than relying solely on emergency contraceptive methods. Remember, healthy sex life is not just moderated pleasure, it also consists of safe and consensual sexual practices.
Also Read: Emergency Contraception Methods