Morning After Pill
What is the Morning after pill?
The morning after pill, also known as an emergency contraceptive pill or post coital contraceptive pill is a form of birth control method to decrease the risk of pregnancy that can be taken in the first 120 hours (within 5 days) of unprotected sex. These pills show its maximum effect if it is taken within the first 3 days after intercourse.
These pills are not considered as a routine or regular birth control method. You can buy the morning after pill if you aged 18 or more from most of the pharmacies. If you are under 18 years old you can still access contraception with the help of a doctor or nurse or pharmacist where the event remains confidential and your parents won’t be informed about it. The cost of the morning after pill varies from £25 to £35. The morning after pills are available online as Ezinelle that contains Levonelle for £13.49 but the cheapest prices may also be available.
The morning after pill contains either levonorgestrel or ulipristal. The morning after pill can be bought as the counter drug in the UK but not all. The morning after pill that contains levonorgestrel can be bought as the counter drug even these pills are available as a free drug at some hospitals, contraception clinics, and sexual health clinics in the UK. The morning after pill that contains ulipristal acetate needs a prescription to buy.
The morning after pill is available as an online buy. Online doctor could treat you without actually seeing and can prescribe the morning after pill using a simple and secure online medical questionnaire or you can register and order which medication you need and Direct UK Pills would arrange your prescription from your doctor and the required medication that you have ordered will be dispatched. Direct UK Pills is an example of an online site where you could receive your treatment within three steps where you have to fill the questionnaire, then the suitability has to be confirmed by the clinician followed you will be receiving your treatment. Another online delivering site is ‘coop’ where you can buy these pills by just showing you an online prescription and the drug will be delivered at any address in the UK.
The morning after pill is not the same as the abortion pill which would terminate the established embryo. The main difference between the two is the morning after pill prevents pregnancy and does not cause abortion. It is advised to take only one morning after the pill in a month because it may interfere with your period cycle. To know whether the morning after pill has worked one should do a pregnancy test after three weeks of intake of the morning after pill.
Emergency contraception can be either in the form of pills (morning after pill) or as an Intra-Uterine Device (IUD) which has to be implanted by a doctor immediately within 5 days of unprotected sex.
EllaOne is one of the most effective morning after pills contains ulipristal acetate which is a non-hormonal drug EllaOne has better effectiveness in comparison with Levonella but not as effective as Intra-Uterine Device (IUD). A single dose of Ellaone 30mg rapidly absorbed and achieve its maximum concentration in the blood within one hour of intake. One may experience nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, tiredness, back pain, slight vaginal bleeding, and headache after taking ellaOne.
Levonelle, I-pill are emergency contraceptive pill that contains levonorgestrel, a man-made synthetic version of natural hormone progesterone produced by the ovaries. By using I-pill within the 72 hours of unprotected sex, ovulation is inhibited and thus prevents the fertilization of the egg. The effectiveness of the pill depends on when you are taking the pill. If you taking the pill within 24 hours it is noted 95% of effectiveness. Common side effects of I-pills are nausea, vomiting, fatigue, heavier bleeding periods, lower abdominal cramps, breast pain, headache, dizziness.
After taking the morning after pill one should follow other contraceptive methods till the next menstruation cycle starts.
There are several contraceptive pills available in the market, out of which commonly known drugs are Cerelle, Rigevidon, Cerazette. There are mainly two kinds of hormonal contraceptives pills available, in one it contains only one female sex hormone that is progesterone, and these pills are called ‘POP’ pills (progesterone-only pills) and the other is called a combined pill which contains a combination of two types of female sex hormone that is progesterone and estrogen.
Cerelle is known as the progesterone-only pill. Cerelle is mostly recommended for breastfeeding and for women who don’t want to use estrogen pills. Possible side effects of cerelle are allergic reactions such as angioedema, swelling of face, tongue, or pharynx, difficulty in breathing, ectopic pregnancy which rarely happens where the baby is developed outside the womb, irregular vaginal bleeding that may continue for three months, mood swings, and breast tenderness.
Cerazette is a progesterone-only pill. Cerazette contains a small amount of one type of female hormone progesterone desogestrel. The most common side effects are weight gain, irregular vaginal bleeding, headache, nausea, acne, mental depression, pain over the breast.
Rigevidon is a hormonal contraceptive pill that contains a combination of estrogen, ethinylestradiol, and a low dose of progesterone, levonorgestrel. Rigevidon has side effects such as mood swings, abdominal pain, and breast tenderness, in some women, may develop blood clots, raised blood pressure.
Microgycon is another combined contraceptive that contains levonorgestrel, ethinylestradiol. It shows the effectiveness of 99%. This drug is contraindicated in women who have a history of cerebrovascular disease such as stroke, vascular thromboembolism. Another drug microlite that contains levonorgestrel, ethinylestradiol in small amounts.
There are pills to delay the periods. If you are not taking contraceptive pills then your doctor might give pill known as norethisterone that can delay your period. Norethisterone daily three tablets are usually prescribed and it should be started three to four days before you expect the beginning of the period. After stopping the medication you can expect the period to happen in the next two to three days. Norethisterone does not have a contraceptive effect in this way so it is possible for you to become pregnant so you need to use alternative contraceptive methods such as a condom.
Switching from your current contraceptive method to combined hormonal contraceptive pills can allow you to delay your period. Even though you started with combined hormonal contraceptive pills you have to depend upon other contraceptive methods or barrier methods for the first few days.
One of the best contraceptive methods and emergency contraceptive methods is the copper intrauterine device (IUD). IUD is a small ‘T- shaped’ plastic and copper device which is implanted into the uterine wall and it has a thin nylon string attached to the cervix (opening of the womb) which helps to know about the position of IUD. IUD generally won’t cause any infection but if you already have an infection in your uterus it might get raise while implanting your IUD. IUD may cause recurrent urinary tract infection which causes burning, pain sensation while urinating and you need to consult your doctor for it. Along with antibiotics you may be prescribed phenazopyridine hydrochloride which helps you to get relief from the pain. Phenazopyridine hydrochloride gives you a local anesthetic effect, relives your symptoms, and soothe your urinary tract lining. This medication has to be taken by mouth three times daily after meal. Do not take this medication for more than two days without consulting your doctor.
How does the morning after pill work?
The morning after pill works by delaying the release of the egg or prevents ovulation. The morning after pill cannot terminate the pregnancy if the fertilized egg got implanted in the intrauterine wall.
EllaOne that contains ulipristal acetate is an orally active synthetic modulator of the progesterone receptor, it has a high affinity towards these receptors and binds with it. Thus it causes delaying of ovulation by suppressing the luteinizing hormone (LH) effect (LH initiates the release of the egg from the ovary). Ulipristal acetate thus delays the follicular rupture at least for 5 days. Thus prolongs and prevents the sperm from fertilizing the egg.
Levonelle, I-pill are hormonal emergency contraceptive pills. These drugs work by preventing ovulation and fertilization if sexual intercourse happened before the ovulatory phase. These drugs contain levonorgestrel that has a high affinity towards the progesterone receptor.
Copper IUD is a copper device that will constantly release a small amount of copper into the womb. This released copper kills the sperm that enters the womb, it also changes the lining of the womb which makes it hard for a fertilized egg to get implanted in the uterus.
Cerelle, Rigevidon, Cerazette are contraceptive pills that work by stopping the ovary from releasing the egg every month, it makes the course of the sperm to reach the egg more difficult, prevents the fertilized egg from getting implanted over the uterine wall by altering the lining of the wall.
Benefits of the morning after pill
The morning after pill cannot give you 100% free from the risk of getting pregnant. Studies have reported that about 2% of women may become pregnant even after taking the morning after pill at the right time.
The morning after pill is indicated in certain situations following sexual intercourse such as condom breakage, no other contraceptives were used, other contraceptives have failed, sexual assault, intrauterine contraceptive device (IUD) got removed from the body. Levonelle is a safe drug that can be taken by breastfeeding mothers. Oral absorption is rapid and complete and bioavailability is 100%.
The morning after pill shows its best action (98% effectiveness) if it is taken within the 3 days of sexual intercourse especially in elleone whereas in levonelle and I-pill 95% effectiveness if you take the medication within the first 24 hours. if you taking the pill after 24 to 45 hours effectiveness drop to 85%, and I pill taken after 49 to 72 hours effectiveness will be 58%. The morning after pills effectiveness is not affected by alcohol consumption.
Copper IUD is an emergency contraceptive method that is more than 99% effective in preventing pregnancy and it last for 5 to 10 years. It is safe to use in breastfeeding women, easy to remove, won’t interact with any medication. Pregnancy very rarely occurs while using IUD, if it happens see your doctor immediately and make sure you get the IUD removed. IUD has no teratogenic effect on the implanted embryo so it is your decision whether to continue with the pregnancy or to continue with abortion.
How to take the morning after pill?
Before discussing how to take the morning after the pill it is necessary to know how to take contraceptive pills because failure to take it correctly may end up in clinging to an emergency contraceptive pill. Each strip of contraceptive pills contains 28 tablets, you should take daily one tablet at the same time. On the front side of the strip, days have been printed so that one would not miss the pill intake even missed one can know which day they missed it. You can even buy a pill box where you can store pills for a week, you can set it for day or night time, pillbox will have a push-button which pop your pill out, these pillboxes are available in TESCO online site which is relatively cheap £3.75. If you are taking any contraceptive pills on the first day of your period you still have to use alternative contraceptive barrier methods for the first seven days.
If you miss a single dose of these contraceptive medications and you are less than 12 hours late mostly there won’t be any decrease in the effectiveness of contraception. Take the pill as soon as you remember but if you missed more than one dose and if you are more than 12 hours late you may not be completely safe from pregnancy while having sex. You have to take the pill as soon as you remember and should take the next pill at the usual time. The more the pill you missed more the risk of pregnancy. To be on the safer side an extra alternative contraceptive method preferably the barrier method that is using condoms is advised for one week while indulging in sex and you should continue the medication as prescribed.
A single tablet of the morning after the pill has to be taken as soon as possible after you unprotected sex, make sure you take the tablet within the first 5 days of intercourse. You can take a single tablet of it with or without taking food. Try to avoid taking it with high fat-containing food which reduces its effectiveness.
The morning after the pill can be less effective if you have a body mass index (BMI) more than 35 then you might need a higher dose to compensate which will be advised by your doctor and do not increase the dose without consulting your doctor. In situations of obesity where you cannot control it by exercise or diet control, you may need to start with medications like diethylpropion (appetite suppressant) which comes under the class sympathomimetic amines. It works by decreasing your appetite and increases the amount of energy used by your body. You can buy this drug online in the UK that would cost £18. Consult a doctor and take the medication only if advised by your doctor.