April 3, 2008

Emergency Contraceptive Pill (Morning-After Pill)

Posted in Category : Women's Health

The morning after, might bring with it the not-so-good after effects of a great night. Here’s where the morning-after pill steps in to help save the day. The emergency contraceptive pill has been quite the savior to most women who do not wish to get pregnant. It is important to keep in mind that the morning-after pill only helps reduce the chances of pregnancy and not eliminate it altogether. The reason it is termed as an emergency pill is because it does not protect you during the rest of the menstrual cycle and should not be used as a regular form of contraception. And most importantly, this magic pill does not have powers to protect you from sexually transmitted diseases. The emergency contraceptive pill works for five days after having unprotected sex. The first pill should be taken as soon as possible and the next dose 12 hours later. Preven and Plan B, manufacturers of the morning-after pill, encourage taking the pill within 24 hours for maximum effectiveness.

Most women can use this pill, including those who are breastfeeding and those who normally cannot use hormonal contraception. The emergency contraceptive pill works by affecting ovulation. Although the pills haven’t been proven to have any long term or serious side effects, particular brands might have tummy cramps, irregular menstrual bleeding, headaches, dizziness, nausea, vomiting, tender breasts and abdominal pain as temporary side effects. There are home remedies for unprotected sex but it is always better to also take contraceptive pills as preventive measures. Vitamin C, that is 6 to 10 grams of ascorbic acid a day for 5 to 10 day, is said to work as a natural emergency contraceptive measure. When looking for vitamin C brands, you have to make sure it does not contain any bioflaviniods. Again, it is best to consult your doctor before using this option.

Certain herbs are known to work as natural contraception, and are used as morning after remedies. These are cotton root bark, penny royal, mugwort, parsley, black cohosh and blue cohosh. The herbs might not work individually but in a combination can help to prevent an unwanted pregnancy, but it only works in the initial stages. Consult a naturopath before taking any of these herbs as an overdose can have rather unpleasant and painful side effects.

The morning after pill has been proven to be the most effective and safest means of avoiding pregnancy. It is available over the counter but people below 18 years of age need to have a prescription.


  1. http://www.cdc.gov/reproductivehealth/unintendedpregnancy/contraception.htm