It is always good to be prepared. Sometimes we can find ourselves in a situation we never planned for, and this can cause us unnecessary levels of fear and panic. Unwanted pregnancy is one of these situations. As much as we try and practice safe sex, accidents do happen. But there are measures we can take to ensure we are well equipped to handle it. In addition to getting the pill when this occurs, we can also get the morning-after pill beforehand and keep it on standby in our medicine cabinet for when it’s needed. So here’s what you need to know about getting the morning-after pill in advance.
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What is the morning after pill?
The morning-after pill is a form of emergency contraception that can be used after unprotected sex to prevent a pregnancy from occurring. Emergency contraception includes the morning-after pill and an intrauterine device (coil) that is inserted into the vagina. The morning-after pill comes in two forms: levonorgestrel and ulipristal acetate. They come under a variety of brand names including Plan B and Ella. The emergency coil must be inserted by a medical professional, so you would need to get this from your doctor. However, the morning-after pill is available in many pharmacies, including Medzino.
What can I do?
As of March 2014, the FDA (Food and drug administration) approved new guidelines stating that all women will be able to gain access to the morning-after pill in advance. Being able to purchase the pill in advance is advantageous as it allows for faster use and increases effectiveness.
The levonorgestrel morning-after pill can be bought over the counter in pharmacies and sexual health clinics. Alternatively, you can get the morning-after pill using an online pharmacy, and have it sent directly to your home. For the ulipristal acetate morning-after pill, you will need a prescription from a doctor before purchasing it. If you order your pill through Medzino, you will complete an online consultation form, that allows us to make decisions about prescribing the right pill for you.
How does this benefit me?
The morning-after pill has different windows of which it can be taken and still be effective. The levonorgestrel pills can be taken 3 days (72 hours) after unprotected sex while the ulipristal acetate can be taken up to 5 days (120 hours) after unprotected sex. If the pills are taken outside this window, they are not deemed to be effective in preventing pregnancy. That said, the morning-after pill is more effective the sooner it is taken. Since the guidelines have changed, this allows women to purchase the morning-after pill beforehand and keep it close by in case it is needed. Taking it sooner will increase the effectiveness of the pill and decrease the chances of having an unwanted pregnancy.
Just because the morning after pill is available in advance, this should not encourage you to partake in more unprotected sex. The morning-after pill should not be used regularly. If you find yourself needing emergency contraception regularly, it might be time to look into using alternative contraception methods. Besides, the morning-after pill does not protect against any form of sexually transmitted diseases. Women are encouraged to use a barrier method of contraception, such as condoms if they are having sexual intercourse with a new partner.
- "What is the Plan B Morning-After Pill | Cost & Effectiveness", 2020 [accessed 2 April 2020].