Emergency Contraceptive Pills: Pros And Cons
Those mornings when you wake up and go, “Oh shoot. I messed up”, an emergency contraceptive pill is often your saving grace. But how much do you know about a pill that you are putting into your body?A friend in need is a friend indeed. That makes the emergency contraceptive or morning-after pill our best friend. In times of unfortunate drunken shenanigans and other equally regretful misadventures, the morning-after pill hugs you (not literally, but I wish), and tells you things are going to be okay…almost okay (where okay= not pregnant, whose value varies from 95 per cent chances of success when taken within 24 hours, to about 58 per cent between 49 and 72 hours).
What is emergency contraceptive or morning-after after pill?
Owing to the changed lifestyle, attitude and sexual dynamics over the past decade or so, around 78% of the pregnancies in our country are unplanned and at least 25% of these are unwanted. In today’s times, young adults tend to freely explore their personal and sexual freedom. But with freedom comes a sense of responsibility, the topmost being to avoid unprotected sex at all times. This is where emergency contraceptive or morning-after pill comes into play. Morning-after pill is a form of contraceptive pills that can be taken by a female after unprotected sex in order to prevent pregnancy. The pill contains a hormone called Levonorgestrel (progestogen). It can help if you just had unprotected sex or if something went wrong during sex for instance the the condom broke. By using an emergency contraceptive pill within 72 hours, you can dramatically lower your chance of getting pregnant. It works best when taken within the first 24 hours (the sooner, the better). Emergency contraceptive pill works by preventing the release of an egg. The pill may also prevent the sperm from fertilizing the egg. Emergency contraceptive pill can also prevent the implantation of fertilized egg in the uterus. The pill has no role if you are already pregnant and it is not an abortion pill. It is however not a replacement for normal birth control pill and should be only used as an emergency.
Here are some pros and cons of emergency contraceptive pills:
- Emergency contraceptive pill is a fairly successful last resort to avoid pregnancy.
- Emergency contraceptive pills or morning-after pill is easily available. You do not require a prescription to acquire it from a chemist shop.
- Even if emergency contraceptive pills fail to prevent a pregnancy, it will not be harmful to the foetus later in any way.
- Emergency contraceptive pill is not known to affect chances of future pregnancies in any way, meaning that you will still be equally fertile.
- Some studies state that emergency contraceptive pills are known to lower the risk of uterine and endometrial cancer. But, that should be no incentive for taking it regularly, since it also comes with the side-effects, stated below.
- Emergency contraceptive pill or morning-after pill can cause nausea, diarrhoea, abdominal pain, vomiting, irregular bleeding, headache, dizziness, and breast tenderness.
- Regular use of contraceptive pill is speculated to cause liver disorders; clots in the heart, intestines, and lungs; gallbladder disease, and high blood pressure.
- Chances of health complications in women with diabetes, migraine, or heart disease increase in women who take emergency contraceptive pills.
- Additional side-effects in women over 35 that include risk of breast cancer and cardiovascular ailments.
- Emergency contraceptive pills could increase risk of undetected ectopic pregnancy, since the user will assume the pill has worked post a pregnancy test (because these tests don’t catch ectopic cases, and you may or may not get your period if you have an ectopic pregnancy), meaning that the foetus will continue to grow in the displaced condition, leading to possible fatalities.
- A slight possibility of an allergic reaction, such as a rash or breathing difficulties, in more sensitive individuals.