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Emergency contraception facts

The morning after pill is a type of contraception applied once the woman has had an unprotected sex and there is a chance that she will conceive.

Even though the very name suggests that the pill may work only after being taken the day after the risk contact, the truth is that such pill is efficient if taken within 72 hours after unprotected sex. Some pills are even efficient if taken up to 5 days after unprotected sex.

The morning after pill is also known as emergency contraception and post-coital pill (PCP).

Levonelle and Ellaone

Levonelle one step or Levonelle 1500 are available in the UK. These pills contain levonorgestrel, a female hormone, normally found in several types of contraceptive pills.

The hormone efficiently prevents ovulation and changes the lining of the uterus, this way preventing implantation. The pill cannot cause abortion. Side effects of Levonelle are nausea, vomiting, mild menstrual irregularities, low abdominal pain and headache. Levonelle is contraindicated in women who are suffering from severe liver disease or porphyria.

EllaOne is another post-coital pill. It can be taken up to 5 days after unprotected sex but prior to opting for this morning after pill, a woman is supposed to consult her health care provider.

Similarly to Levonelle, EllaOne prevents ovulation from taking place and may also alter the conditions inside the uterus so that egg, which might have been fertilized cannot be implanted.

The most common side effects of EllaOne are nausea and abdominal pain, headache, muscle ache and back ache.

The effect of EllaOne can be altered by intake of certain medications and remedies so prior to taking these, a woman should consult her doctor.

Who is Supposed to Take the Morning After Pill?

Even though many women who have had consensual unprotected sex opt for the morning after pill, the pill must be taken by women who are rape victims. Couples who have had a condom break also commonly opt for this kind of protection. The pill is additionally recommended for all women who have been lured into unprotected sex by being previously intoxicated by alcohol or drugs.

Even though the morning after pill is not efficient in 100% of all cases, the protection it provides with is optimal given the circumstances.

How to Get the Morning after Pill?

The pill can be prescribed by a general practitioner and other doctors of several specialties. The pill is also available in medics and family planning clinics, in many genitourinary medicine clinics as well as in private doctor's office. Some morning after pills are available over-the-counter and can be purchased in local pharmacies.

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