How do you deal with unprotected sex? Resort to the emergency contraceptive pill? But before you take it and use it as a daily method of contraception, you need to get a few things clear about the pill. Gynaecologist Dr Sutopa Mukherjee busts common myths about the morning after pill.
You will feel ill for days after taking the pill: You may get a headache or nausea after taking the pill, but this usually goes away in a day. The only other side effect you can have is that your period may be shorter or longer for that month.
The pill will be effective only if taken immediately: You may think that you have missed your window if you don’t take the pill within two days. While you should take it as soon as you had unprotected sex, recent studies have found that it can be effective up to four days after intercourse. So if you cannot take the pill right away, don’t think you have missed the chance.
The emergency contraceptive pill can halt pregnancy: Another huge misconception about the emergency contraceptive pill is that it can terminate the pregnancy. The fact is, emergency contraception can delay or inhibit ovulation. So if the egg was already released before you got a chance to take the pill, you could get pregnant.
You must use it only if you had unprotected sex: It can be a good reason to use an emergency contraception if you have forgotten to take your birth control pills for a few days. It is okay if you have missed one birth control pill, but if you have missed several pills in a row and had unprotected sex, you could get pregnant.
The pill is less effective in overweight women: You may have heard that the drug is less effective in overweight women, but this is entirely false. The emergency contraceptive pill has nothing to do with your weight. It will still work if you have taken the pill within 3-4 days.
It can have dangerous side effects: The morning after pill contains levonorgestrel as the main ingredient which is the same as progestin found in another form of birth control like IUD. It is safe and does not have any side effects.
You can use it as a daily contraceptive method: The morning after pill is not reliable as a routine birth control. It is not as effective as any other method of contraception. Plus, it can be an expensive affair, so it is best used as an emergency contraceptive pill.