I am and have always been a strong advocate for safe sex. But I have had my fair share of breaking condoms, raw sex with internal ejaculation in the heat of passion and even the drama of locating a dislodged condom after sex. If you happen to go through such an experience, do not panic. Rushing to the shower and flushing your vagina with water or using your fingers to scoop the semen out is not going to help reduce the risk of pregnancy. I have used the Emergency Pill before and it is a method we ladies can turn to in the event of such unforeseen circumstances.
What is the Emergency Contraceptive Pill?
Also known as the Morning After Pill, it is a birth control pill containing high doses of the hormones Progestin. These hormones stops or delays the release of a woman’s eggs. When this happens, there is no egg to join with the sperm and pregnancy will not occur. In addition, Progestin also thickens the woman’s cervical mucus which blocks the sperm and prevents it from joining the egg. The risk of pregnancy is estimated to be reduced by 75-90%.
When must I take the Pill?
As soon as possible after unprotected sex. Usually the pills can be taken within 5 days but its effectiveness decreases as time passes. The pills are taken in 2 doses, one immediately and the second after 12 hours.
How do I know if it is effective?
The next menses cycle after taking the pill is usually earlier or later, and the flow lighter or heavier. It is recommended to take a pregnancy test 3 weeks after taking the Emergency Pill. See a doctor if you experience symptoms of pregnancy.
Are there any side effects?
Nausea is the most common side effect experienced, and in some cases, vomiting. Other side effects include bleeding between periods, breast tenderness, dizziness, tiredness and headaches. The side effects usually lasts for 1-2 days and anti-nausea medication is normally given to women.
How and where can I buy them?
The Emergency Pill is widely available in clinics and hospitals. In Singapore, GP clinics and gynecologists carry it. Do note that the woman herself must consult the doctor to get a prescription for the pill. It is not available to be bought over the counter and the man cannot buy on behalf for the lady.
This is an Emergency Pill, not an abortion pill. As its name implies, it prevents pregnancy and does not cause an abortion. Emergency contraception is for one time use and should not be substituted for regular birth control.
The Emergency Pill does not protect against Sexually Transmitted Infections. Take an STI test if there is a chance you might have gotten a sexually transmitted infection.
Note: If you have been sexually assaulted or forced to have unprotected sex, notify the police immediately.