Many women today are putting their pregnancies on hold probably because of physical health, career priorities, or the fear about the hardships of parenting. These individuals rely on various birth control methods like condoms, contraceptive pills, patches, diaphragm, and many more. However, there are loopholes that can be encountered with these family planning methods. For example, condoms may break or slip off, diaphragms and cervical caps may be knocked out of place, and missed contraceptive pills may lead to unwanted pregnancies. Using emergency contraception like a morning-after pill may reduce the risk of unwanted pregnancy by 80 percent.
Morning-after pills are used to prevent a woman from getting pregnant after unprotected vaginal intercourse. These pills are like ordinary birth control pills that contain higher doses of synthetic estrogen and progesterone. These hormones stimulates and regulates various body functions and play essential parts in maintaining pregnancies. Regular and low doses of estrogen may prevent females from ovulating while progesterone inhibits the growth of uterine lining. When this happens, it can be more difficult for a fertilized egg to become implanted there, it also thickens the mucus around the area keeping sperm from getting to the uterus. These pills are usually used within 72 hours after intercourse with a second dose that should be taken after 12 hours. Morning-after pills can be used as backup method for other contraceptive measures but should not be routinely used. These pills do not work like abortion pills because they only prevent pregnancies. Abortion pills work by terminating established pregnancies – those that have been attached to the uterine walls and have begun to develop.
Like other forms of medication, morning-after pills may also bring side effects to individuals who decide to use them. About 50 percent of the women who take these pills feel nauseated for a day or two and about 20 percent experience vomiting. Less common side effects may include headaches, breast tenderness, dizziness, and fluid retention.
Doctors should be consulted immediately if the following are experienced:shortness of breathchest painabdominal painsevere leg painsevere headache or dizzinessloss of visionspeaking difficulties. These conditions may indicate many serious complications from blood clots to liver damage. Women who use morning-after pills will usually have their period within a week after taking the pills. If one’s period does not occur within 21 days, it is advised that these individuals should visit their doctor. It could mean that the patient is pregnant or the egg is implanted in the Fallopian tubes or abdomen and may need emergency treatment.
Before taking morning-after pills, birth control pills, and other forms of contraceptive methods, individuals should seek the approval of health professionals. Morning-after pills are not intended for women who have had breast cancer, any reproductive cancer, stroke, blood clots in the legs or lungs, diabetes, liver or kidney disease, severe migraines, or high blood pressure. One’s medical history, age, and how it may affect one’s health is essential in choosing the right form of oral contraceptives, emergency contraceptives, and other methods for family planning. Understanding the effects and health risks of using birth control methods are essential in effective family planning and overall health.