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Mirena Coil Removal

What's A Morning-After Pill?

A morning-after pill is emergency contraception (birth control), which eliminates the chances of pregnancy for women whose birth control method has failed. This type of pill can prevent pregnancy up to five days (120 hours) after unprotected sex. 

The morning-after pill is used as a secondary method of contraception only, not as a primary mode of birth control.


How Does the Morning-After Pill Work?

The morning-after pill cannot reverse pregnancy. Morning-after medications prevent ovulation, i.e., a part of your normal reproductive cycle. This is the phase when your ovaries produce and release an egg that can then be fertilised by sperm and begin the fetal development process. 

If you don't ovulate, you can't get pregnant.

How Effective Is the Pill?

When it comes to the efficiency of morning-after pills in preventing pregnancy, the critical factor is time. Regardless of the types of morning-after pills you're taking, the sooner you take them, the more effective they become.

Morning-After Pills Side Effects

Side effects of the morning-after pills typically persist for a couple of days, and they include:

  • Feeling nauseated or vomiting

  • Dizziness

  • Tiredness

  • Headache

  • Breast tenderness

  • A heavy menstrual flow or bleeding between periods

  • Lower abdominal pain or cramps

  • Rashes

Critical Remarks & Precautions About The Pill

Please note that this prevention method isn't sometimes as effective as other options of contraception and is thus not recommended on a regular basis. Plus, the morning-after pill offers no protection against sexually transmitted infections and may fail even when used correctly.

Related: Contraception Options.

Moreover, the morning-after pill isn't suitable for everyone. Don't take a morning-after medication if you are:

  • Allergic to any ingredient of the medication

  • On certain medications that can decrease the effectiveness of the pill

  • Overweight or obese.

Also, ensure that you're not pregnant before using ulipristal. Although this pill doesn’t affect your existing pregnancy, it may come with other risks. It is also not recommended to take ulipristal if you are breastfeeding.

Can You Get Morning-After Pills From Doctors?

Yes, you need help from an expert to safely choose and take the morning-after pill. The following are two examples of different pills and how they should be administered.

  • When using generic Levonelle (Levonorgestrel), you'll need to take it within 72 hours (three days) of unprotected sex - the sooner, the better.

  • When using a copper coil for emergency contraception, you'll need to take it within 120 hours (five days) of unprotected sex.

If you throw up within a few hours of taking the pill, you should speak to your healthcare provider or a pharmacist, as you'll probably need to take another one. Therefore, it's highly recommended that you talk to a doctor about contraception before choosing any morning-after pill!

Stay Aware, Stay Safe

Dr Lisa Briscoe Chavda is a fully registered GP with a Diploma from the Faculty of Sexual and Reproductive Healthcare (DFSRH). She can give you more information about private emergency contraception and help you with a screening test for STIs.

Contact Doctor Lisa today to book your appointment. Please call on 07940306316. This procedure will involve an initial phone consultation with Doctor Lisa followed by her sending a private prescription for the morning after pill to a pharmacy local to you. 

Dr Lisa Briscoe Chavda BSc MBBS MRCP DFSRH MRCGP
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