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FAQ; About Emergency Contraception Pills

What is Emergency Contraception pill or ECP?

Emergency contraceptive pill is a pill that is used to prevent an unintended pregnancy after unprotected sex or contraceptive failure.

When should I take the pill after unprotected sex?

You should take it as soon as possible preferably within 12 hours and no later than 72 hrs of    unprotected intercourse.

When should I not take the pill?

  1. It does not work if you are already pregnant as it is only a backup contraception. It is not a substitute for regular contraception method.
  2. Also, it is not recommended if you are allergic to levonorgestrel, which is the name of the medicine in various EC Pills like i-pill, i-sure, i-can etc.
  3. Remember it is emergency contraceptive pill and not an abortion pill.

How effective are such pills?

The sooner you use this pill, the more effective it is. It is almost 95% effective within 24hrs of unprotected sex,85% between 25-48hrs and 58% between 49-72 hrs. But if your periods are delayed by more than 1 week , consult your doctor ,you may be pregnant.

What are the side-effects of pill?

There are no long-term side effects. Common side effects are nausea, vomiting and headache. There may be some lower abdominal pain or you may find your breast more tender than usual. All this usually stops in a day or two.

How will I know if pill worked?

You need to wait for your next period which is expected on due time or within a week of expected time. If your period is delayed by more than one week, consult your doctor.

Also, if you have severe lower abdominal pain along with missed period, consult your doctor immediately-it may be acute emergency called Ectopic Pregnancy (Pregnancy outside uterus).

Can I use the pill if I am breast feeding?

Yes. It has been found to have no significant effect on milk quality.

Can I continue my pregnancy in case of emergency contraception failure?

Yes you can, if you wish to do so. It has been found to cause no harm to you or your baby. In case you don’t want to continue pregnancy, consult your doctor.

I vomited after taking pill, should I take it again?

If you vomit within 2 hrs of taking the pill, you need to repeat it. It is better to take it after food and preferably with anti-emetic (medicine to avoid vomiting).

Can I use it regularly after each intercourse?

Absolutely not. It is only a back-up or emergency contraception. It is to be used only when absolutely required. It is not a substitute for regular contraception. For regular contraception method that suits you best, consult your doctor.

Metro Hospital
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