Emergency contraception usually standsfor pills taken after unprotected sex. Basically, when taken on time,these pills can either stop the ovulation process or prevent thesperm from reaching the egg, making fertilization impossible.
However, people need to be careful withthese birth control solutions and take them only when necessary.These pills are commonly known as “the morning after pills”, dueto the fact that they are taken once the unprotected sex happens.
Emergency Contraception Basic Facts
There are several types of these pills,being available both over-the-counter and with the doctor'sprescription. The type depends greatly on the hormones that theemergency contraception pills contain. Therefore, one may opt forprogestin-only pills such as Plan B and Next Choice, being the mostcommonly found types of these pills on the market. These two areofficially approved by the FDA and are issued only with aprescription by the doctor.
Once a female takes these pills within24 hours after the unprotected sex, the chances of her becomingpregnant reduce to about 5%. So, none of these pills offer a 100%prevention of pregnancy. As the time after the unprotected sex goeson, the effect of emergency contraception drops. Thus, once up to 72hours have passed since the incident, the chances of preventingpregnancy decrease to 89%.
After taking many customer complaintsinto considerations, the FDA allowed Plan B to be soldover-the-counter, due to the fact that many women may have beensexually assaulted or too young to obtain the pills any other way. Inorder to help those who are afraid or ashamed of seeking medicalattention, these pills were made available in most pharmacies.Initially, only people older than 18 were allowed to get these pills.Later, the age limit dropped to 17, even though these individualsrequire a prescription.
At the moment, a new type of emergencycontraception is on the rise, called Ella, preventing pregnancy bypreventing or delaying ovulation, even when taken within 5 days afterthe questionable intercourse. However, if Ella gets approved by theFDA, obtaining it without a prescription will not be possible.
Because of this attitude of the FDA,numerous debates are carried out in order to protect those who lackmedical insurance, those who are underage and those who need thesepills but cannot obtain them for some other reasons. On the otherhand, the emergency contraception pills are condemned by numerousreligious groups, labeled as impure and sinful.
Any Effects on the Fertility?
Taking emergency contraception pillsdoes not cause any severe problems to your health, even thoughcertain, frequently seen side effects do exist. Basically, emergencycontraception is capable of causing nausea, heavy bleeding andmenstrual cramps, along with some symptoms related to PMS.
Yet, somesources claim that taking emergency contraception in the long run canlead to infertility or even increased susceptibility to cancerdevelopment, especially hormone-related type of cancer.
Still, most stories of this type arefiction, made for the media, confusing people all around the world,especially through the easily accessible information network of theInternet.
In fact, a couple of years ago, anemail circled the mailboxes of people all over the globe, claiminghow a woman who was taking emergency contraception died of a stroke.
Of course, such claims work against thepharmaceutical companies which produce emergency contraception,making their products less desirable due to the public beliefs thatthey are harmful for one's health.
Yet, countless studies carried out indefense of these pills and many similar products have proven thatthese cannot possibly cause infertility when used adequately. So, nonew research study needs to be done, since the safety of such products iswell known. Additionally, pharmaceutical companies cannot affordto fund a new type of research in their defense every time theirproducts get accused somewhere on the Internet.
All in all, apart from the side effectsfound on the labels of the emergency contraception you are using,there are no other health hazards which may affect you, provided youfollow all the usage instructions carefully.
We have to take into consideration thatrumors about these pills have taken their toll on the minds of people.In a study carried out in the UK and Northern Ireland, it was foundout that 91% of all women were well acquainted with the existence ofemergency contraception. However, only 7% of all women used theseproducts during the year before the study. The main reasons behindthis fact mainly rest in ignorance and lack of information regardingthe female fertility, the sexual intercourse and the functioning ofemergency contraception.
Thus, emergency contraception will notmake you infertile. Nevertheless, do not use it as a regular form ofcontraception, since it is meant to be used only in situations whenunprotected sex took place accidentally. There are numerous othercontraceptive variants for you to choose from, including condoms,intrauterine devices and regular birth control pills, being safe foreveryday use.