What is the morning-after pill?
The morning-after pill is a form or emergency contraception. There are 2 types: one contains levonorgestrel and ulipristal acetate. Levonorgestrel has a brand name Plan B and ulipristal acetate has the brand name, Ella.
How do the morning-after pills work?
Plan B’s active ingredient levonorgestrel works by preventing the ovaries from releasing an egg. If ovulation has already occurred, it is thought to prevent the sperm from fertilizing the egg and hence preventing pregnancy.
Ella’s active is ingredient ulipristal acetate. Its mechanism of action interferes with the normal way the hormone progesterone works in your body. Your body needs progesterone to ovulate. By altering the way progesterone works in the body, this delays ovulation and hence preventing pregnancy.
How effective is the morning after pill?
If you use the morning-after pill in line with the recommendations, they are both very effective at keeping you from getting pregnant. Plan B has an 84% effectiveness while Ella has higher effectiveness of 98%. They both work well if used in line with the guidelines, however, the morning-after pills do not work if you are already pregnant.
If you believe you’re already pregnant, you should see your doctor as the morning-after pill will not be of any use in terminating the pregnancy. Other treatments are available to terminate a pregnancy, however, these need to be discussed with your doctor.
How long after unprotected sex can I take the morning-after pill?
The morning-after pill is the most effective when taken as soon as possible. The length of time you can wait after unprotected sex before taking the morning-after pill differs from pill to pill.
Plan B needs to be taken within 3 days (72 hours) after unprotected sex in order for it to be effective in preventing pregnancy. However, if you decide to take Ella, it can be taken up to 5 days (120 hours) after unprotected sex for it to be effective.
Even with this time window, the sooner the better. If you take the morning-after pill as soon as possible, it will be more effective.
Where can I buy the morning after pill?
The morning-after pill is available from a number of different places.
The main locations that offer the morning-after pills are:
- Doctor’s clinic
- Contraception clinics
- Sexual health clinics
- Pharmacies, including Medzino
- Some emergency departments
Before purchasing the morning-after pill you will need to speak to a medical professional such as a doctor or pharmacist. Based on several factors and your medical history, they will be the best equipped to advise you which type of morning-after pill is best for you. If you choose to buy the morning after pill through Medzino, your consultation form will be reviewed by a licensed US physician, before your treatment is issued. Please note, due to potential delays in postage, we are only able to provide the morning-after pill for future use.
Can I buy the morning after pill in advance?
The morning-after pill is available from Medzino to order for future use. This will make sure you are prepared if you ever find yourself in need of emergency contraception.
If you find yourself regularly needing the morning-after pill, it might be time to rethink your contraceptive methods. It might be time to book an appointment with your doctor or your local contraceptive clinic to get an assessment for more long term forms of contraception.
Can the morning-after pill interfere with my period?
The morning after pill can delay your period, but it can also cause your period to occur earlier than expected. Things you might notice after taking the pill is spotting or lighter or heavier periods compared to normal. The morning after-pill causes a change in your hormone levels so there is no surprise that it can affect your periods. After taking the morning-after pill, if you notice your period has arrived more than 7 days late or is shorter or lighter than normal, make an appointment to speak to your doctor.
Does alcohol affect the effectiveness of the morning-after pill?
There has been a lack of evidence associated with alcohol affecting the effectiveness of the morning-after pill. So do not worry about drinking before or after taking the morning-after pill. However, if the alcohol or other illness causes you to throw up after taking the morning-after pill you might need to take another dose. So be careful how much you drink to prevent this from happening.
Can the morning-after pill cause me to be infertile?
This might be a cause for worry in women, however, studies have found no link between the morning-after pill and infertility. Ella will not affect your future fertility and will not cause you any problems with getting pregnant later on in life. Plan B works in a different way. It can interfere with your menstrual cycle which might result in your ovulating sooner or later than normal. All this means that it changes the date at which you are the most fertile, however, this does not affect how fertile you are and will be in the future. The morning-after pill does not protect you from getting in the future so if you decide to have sex after taking the morning-after pill, it is essential to use another form of contraception to prevent pregnancy.
What are the side effects of the morning-after pills?
Like any other medication, the morning-after pill can have side effects but they are usually short-term in nature. Some of the common side effects are:
- Abdominal Pain
- Nausea or vomiting
- Changes to your menstrual cycle
These side effects should not last more than a couple of days, however, if they do persist longer than this time, make sure to visit your doctor right away.
If you experience a sharp pain in your abdomen, especially in your lower stomach, make sure to visit your doctor right away. There are rare cases of a fertilized egg implanting outside the womb which can result in a wide range of complications.
So here’s a snapshot into the main concerns around the morning-after pill. I hope this has covered all your main worries and you are equipped with all the information you need if you ever find yourself in this situation. Safety is very important so make sure to keep safe and have fun.