Sunday, January 19, 2020

Awareness and use of emergency contraception (MORNING-AFTER PILL) to prevent unintended pregnancies.

What is Emergency contraception? 

There are 2 types of emergency contraception:

  • Pill form
  • IUD

How Does Emergency Contraception Work?

Image result for emergency pills"Emergency contraceptive pills work by delaying ovulation (the release of an egg during the monthly cycle). If fertilization and implantation have already happened, ECPs will not interrupt the pregnancy.

How Well Does Emergency Contraception Work?

About 1 or 2 in every 100 women who use ECPs will become pregnant despite taking the pills within 72 hours after having unprotected sex.
The "morning-after" name is somewhat misleading: You don't have to wait until the next morning to take ECPs. Emergency contraception is most effective when taken as soon as possible after unprotected sex.
Emergency contraception will not prevent pregnancy if unprotected sex happens after taking the ECPs.
Emergency contraception does not prevent all pregnancies. So a girl should see a doctor if she doesn't get her next expected period after taking ECPs.

Does Emergency Contraception Help Prevent STDs?

No. Emergency contraception does not protect against STDs. Couples having sex must always use condoms to protect against STDs even when using another birth control method.
Many young girls without awareness use the emergency pill to prevent HIV infections and as a contraceptive.
Many young people are using emergency pills for the wrong reasons.
It’s no longer an emergency pill but a form of contraceptive. Away from medical advice and due to myths and misconceptions, young girls are using emergency pills believing it will prevent unintended pregnancy with continued use.
Doctors’ advice is that emergency pills, as they are called, should be used within a specific period after sexual intercourse to prevent unintended pregnancy. However, girls use these pills at their own volition.
Myths and misconceptions about using emergency pills have also misled girls into being infected with HIV. These girls use emergency pills as a pre-exposure treatment to HIV. Girls use emergency pills after having sex believing they will not get HIV.
There is a need for increased awareness on the work of emergency pills and when they should be used. For instance, emergency pills such as P2 do not prevent sexually transmitted infections; they only prevent ovulation hence preventing pregnancy. It can cause a shift in the ovulation cycle and using more than a tablet once can destroy the womb and cause infertility in the long run.
It also causes hormonal imbalance and a change in the menstrual cycle leading to irregular menstrual periods or a whole shift in the cycle. It can also easily cause ectopic pregnancy. Women should visit a medical practitioner for advice on the long term contraceptive method to use to avoid these reproductive effects.
Awareness of the use of emergency pills will, therefore, reduce the risk of unintended pregnancy related to myths and misconceptions. It will also reduce cases of HIV infections as the youth will be more careful knowing the pill won’t prevent STDs.

Are There Any Side Effects With Emergency Contraception?

ECPs can cause some minor side effects for a few days, including:
  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • breast tenderness
  • headaches
  • Abdominal pain
  • Fatigue
  • Menstrual changes.
These usually are minor, and most improve within 1 to 2 days. A girl's menstrual period may be temporarily irregular after she takes ECPs.

Who Can Use Emergency Contraception?

Emergency contraception is an option for a couple if:
  • condom breaks or slips off
  • a diaphragm or cervical cap slips out of place
  • birth control pills are missed for 2 days in a row
ECPs are also available to young women who are forced to have unprotected sex.
Emergency contraception is not recommended:
  • for females who know they are pregnant
  • as a regular birth control method (it's designed for emergencies)

Where Is Emergency Contraception Available?

Some types of emergency contraceptive pills are available over the counter at drugstores and pharmacies for anyone of any age without a prescription.
One type of emergency contraception (which works well up to 5 days after unprotected sex) is only available by prescription.
An IUD used for emergency contraception needs to be placed by a doctor or nurse practitioner . This can be done at a doctor's office or a health clinic, like Planned Parenthood.

When Should I Call the Doctor?

Someone who uses emergency contraception should call the doctor if she:
  • might be pregnant
  • has a change in the smell or color of her vaginal discharge
  • has unexplained fever or chills
  • has belly or pelvic pain
  • has pain during sex
  • has heavy or long-lasting vaginal bleeding

Emergency contraception also called the morning-after pill or post-coital contraception is a form of birth control that may be used by women who have had unprotected sex or used a birth control method that failed. The treatment generally is reserved for specific situations and is not a regular method of birth control. Emergencies include being raped, having a condom break or slip off during sex, or missing two or more birth control pills during a monthly cycle. Emergency oral contraception is used to prevent a pregnancy, not end one. They work primarily by delaying ovulationEmergency contraception does not protect against sexually transmitted diseases. It is not RU-466, the medication used to induce abortions.

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