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The morning after pill has been in the news over the past year, with discussion around access and cost hitting the headlines. We uncover the facts about emergency contraception, and look at what to expect after you take it. Doctors always use the term 'emergency contraception' rather than 'morning after pill'.
This is because, while emergency contraception is more effective if used as soon as possible after unprotected sex, it can be used up to three days for any of the progestogen pills or five days for ulipristal acetate, also known as ellaOne after unprotected sex. The IUCD often called the coil can also be used for emergency contraception. In this article, we will use the term 'morning after pill' because it is more commonly recognised by patients.
The research, commissioned by HRA, manufacturers of morning after pill ellaOnecomes in the wake of debate over cost and access. Emergency contraception is free from some sexual health clinics and Second day pill side effects contraception outlets, and on NHS prescription from most GPs and NHS walk-in centres. Practitioners at these clinics are used to prescribing emergency contraception so there's no need to feel embarrassed about making a responsible decision after unprotected sex. Book an appointment with a local pharmacist at a time that's convenient for you via Patient Access.
Three forms of emergency contraception are currently available in the UK: the intrauterine contraceptive device copper coil or IUCDand two types of morning after pill - ellaOne ulipristal acetate and the traditional morning after pill commonly known as Levonelle also available under other brand names, but with the same active ingredient, levonorgestrel.
Crucially though, both pills are only effective if taken before ovulation has occurred, as they work by delaying or preventing egg release from the ovaries. Ovulation will usually occur about 14 days before your period starts, but this can vary depending on the length of your cycle, your general health and other factors. Across the UK, lockdown restrictions are starting to ease, albeit at different rates in the four If you vomit within two hours of taking the morning after pill, consult a doctor as if the first pill was not fully absorbed you may need to take a second dose, and take anti-sickness medication in combination.
Side-effects are likely to be the same regardless of which brand of pill you take. Some common medications, such as barbiturates and St John's wort, may impact upon the effectiveness of the morning after pill, and treatments for epilepsy and heartburn may also reduce its effectiveness.
If you're over 11 stone in weight, research indicates that the progestogen morning after pill in particular won't be as effective in preventing pregnancy as it is for women who maintain a lower, stable weight. If you haven't had a period more than a week after it's expected, it is shorter or lighter than usual, or you are concerned that emergency contraception may have failed, take a pregnancy test and consult a doctor. Health risks associated with emergency contraception are unlikely and rare, reassures O'Sullivan. There are no long-term risks to your health or fertility if you use the emergency contraceptive pill more than once.
The morning after pill was not developed to be taken regularly though, but as an emergency option if your usual form of contraception fails eg, condoms. It won't prevent pregnancy from any further unprotected sex you may have during the remainder of your menstrual cycle unless you take further doses and it will not protect you from sexually transmitted infections STIs. If you're seeking emergency contraception due to an abusive partner, or if you've been a victim of sexual assaultthe practitioner giving you the pill should be able to direct you to local services, including sexual assault referral centres and support groups that can help.
Alternatively, Rape Crisis or Refuge can provide support. The most effective form of emergency contraception is the copper coil the IUCDwhich can be used up to five days hours after Second day pill side effects sex, or within five days of the earliest time you could have released an egg. The IUCD is a small, T-shaped plastic and copper device that's inserted into your uterus via the vagina by a doctor or nurse. It releases copper which prevents the egg implanting in your uterus or being fertilised, so, unlike the morning after pill, it works even after you have ovulated.
These bumps showed up two weeks ago, on my mons pubis. It is kinda under my stomach fold, i thought they were a rash but now i think they might be herpes. They do not hurt, they bleed if i pick at Disclaimer: This article is for information only and should not be used for the diagnosis or treatment of medical conditions. Egton Medical Information Systems Limited has used all reasonable care in compiling the information but make no warranty as to its accuracy.
Consult a doctor or other health care professional for diagnosis and treatment of medical conditions. For details see our conditions. What happens to your body when you come off the pill? Do you need emergency contraception? Book now. Our picks for What to expect when you take the morning after pill. What to do if you need contraception or abortion care during lockdown Across the UK, lockdown restrictions are starting to ease, albeit at different rates in the four What to do if you need contraception or abortion care during lockdown.
Does hormonal contraception affect your sex drive? Does hormonal contraception affect fertility after you stop taking it? Should you consider the copper coil for emergency contraception? Read next. Are fertility apps a reliable form of contraception? the discussion on the forums.
Health Tools Feeling unwell? Assess your symptoms online with our free symptom checker. Start symptom checker. Read next What happens to your body when you come off the pill?Second day pill side effects
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