When you have had an accident during a sexual encounter, such as a condom breaking, it has stayed inside, or any other unforeseen event, you can take an emergency contraceptive method that is commonly known as a pill. The day after. It is a method that can be taken up to 3 days after having had an accident of sexual intercourse. However, to achieve greater effectiveness, it is recommended to take it within 24 hours of intercourse.
In this FastlyHealarticle, we will talk to you about the morning after pill, explaining what it is, how it works, and the side effects. It is also essential that you remember that you cannot use it with a regular contraceptive method as it can alter your body and affect your female reproductive system.
Table of Contents
What is the morning-after pill?
As we have already said, the morning-after pill is a contraceptive method that should be used ONLY in an emergency. We will not be able to use it regularly by substituting other methods such as pills, condoms, patches, etc., because they are not prepared for it. They should only be taken when one of the methods that we usually use, for whatever reason, has failed and we run the risk of having an unwanted pregnancy; it is also usually taken when a woman has been abused or had a non-consensual relationship.
In addition, it should be noted that this type of contraceptive will only help us prevent pregnancy, but in no case does it prevent us from sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) such as herpes, chlamydia, or HIV. It is essential that this concept is clear and emphasized so that it is understood that its function is solely and exclusively to avoid getting pregnant when any of the methods that have been used have failed.
This pill should not be used as a standard method because its composition is not adequate to ensure the optimal functioning of our body. Moreover, if we abuse them, we may see how our reproductive cycle changes, even if we may experience different side effects, as we will tell you in section 3. In addition, you must take into account a series of precautions related to this pill that we detail below:
It does not protect against STDs
Only condoms (male and female) can prevent sexually transmitted diseases such as fungi, herpes, and AIDS. So if you are going to have sporadic intercourse, it is best to use a condom and, if it breaks or stays inside you, go to a family planning center so that they can provide you with a morning-after pill.
It is not 100% effective.
This is an aspect that we should not overlook because, although its effectiveness is very high (especially in the first hours after intercourse), the truth is that its percentage is only 75 to 88%, a much lower number than others. The method like daily contraceptive pills or condoms, for example. In addition, the more hours that pass after sexual intercourse, the more effective it loses, reaching just a little higher than 50%.
A very high dose of hormones
These pills are created from many hormones that we introduce into our body with a single take and, therefore, it is not a very healthy method for our body that can experience some adverse effects.
At FastlyHealwe give you a list of the most effective contraceptive methods.
How does the day-after pill work
To understand how the morning after pill works, we must realize that it is a drug full of hormones that act in our body, directly affecting our ovulation, thus delaying or avoiding it. With this, it is possible to prevent pregnancy since the ovum is not released and, therefore, it cannot be fertilized with that sexual relationship.
This is why it is recommended that it be taken in the shortest possible time after having the sexual encounter, preferably within 24 hours after the act, to achieve greater effectiveness. As a general rule, it can be taken up to 72 hours after having the relationship, but the longer it takes, the more negligible effect it will do because the sperm are already in your body.
If you vomit later, between 2 hours after taking it, you should retake it as your body will not have metabolized it and, therefore, its effect will have been canceled. Vomiting can appear due to its causes or due to a side effect of the pill that can cause nausea and a desire to return; If this is your case, we recommend that you go to a specialist to tell you how to proceed since the new pill you take may induce vomiting again.
You should also bear in mind that taking this morning-after pill does not inhibit you from continuing to take precautions in your future sexual relationships; So if you regularly take daily medications, you should take it anyway, the same as if you usually use a condom or other methods. This pill will only help you avoid possible pregnancy within the previous relationship, nothing more.
Effectiveness of the morning after pill
- During the first 24 hours: its effectiveness can be up to 95%, so it is recommended that it always be taken in this time frame.
- Between 24 and 48 hours later: the effectiveness is reduced to 85%.
- Between 48 and 72 hours later: you can also take this pill but taking into account that, in this case, it is only 58% effective.
As you can see, it may be the case that it is not practical, so if your period has to come, but it does not come down, it is best to take a pregnancy test to check the situation.
Some people speculate that this method produces abortion, but it should be noted that this statement is FALSE. It is not an abortion pill as fertilization of the ovum has not yet occurred and, therefore, there is no pregnancy. As we have already indicated, this pill acts in our body by delaying ovulation, preventing the ovum from detaching from the ovary for a particular time and, therefore, preventing the sperm from fertilizing it. If pregnancy has occurred, this pill will NOT remit it.
Side effects of the morning-after pill
We have already mentioned that these pills contain potent compounds and many hormones that we put into our body very immediately, which can unbalance some of the normal functions of the body. However, you should know that the side effects of the morning-after pills are infrequent, and the most common are very mild and easy to treat.
Most women usually have their period on the expected day, but it may be the case that it is late or early due to the effect of the pill. But if you notice that seven days or more pass without menstruation, it is time to take the pregnancy test to see if the emergency method has finally been effective.
Next, we are going to discover the most frequent side effects :
- Pains in the abdomen: You can feel pains similar to pre-menstrual, especially if you take it for the first time. In this case, lie down and try to relax, so they calm down.
- Nausea and vomiting: it may be that the pill’s effect produces one of these situations. If you vomit, if you do it within 2 hours of taking the medication, you will have to retake it as it will not be effective.
- Dizziness: the pill may make you feel dizzy or unwell. Lie down and rest to be able to overcome them.
- Breast tenderness: Taking such a large hormone injection is likely to make your breasts a bit sore.
In any case, in the event of any side effect, we recommend that you go to a doctor to tell you how to treat it and to be able to guide you individually. Many women wonder how long the side effects of the morning after pill last. The reality is that they do not usually go beyond 2 or 3 days, ending when the medication stops having an impact. However, alterations in menstruation can also be observed in the following months.
This article is merely informative. At FastlyHeal .com, we do not have the power to prescribe medical treatments or make any diagnosis. We invite you to see a doctor in the case of presenting any condition or discomfort.
If you want to read more articles similar to the Side effects of the morning-after pill, we recommend that you enter our Sexuality category.
I am a Surgeon with a diploma in comprehensive ultrasound and surgical care residency, an area I am specializing in. During the exercise of my profession, I have realized the need for patients to know the diseases they suffer, and I can tell you that a large part of their complications is due to a lack of information. Being a health web writer allows me to transmit my experience, without borders, to all those readers eager for knowledge, educate them in the prevention of diseases and promote a healthy lifestyle.