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How the Emergency Contraception Works

When you are permanently using your contraceptive, you know there’re hormones working for you or the barrier that protects you; and that feeling of security lets you sleep peacefully. But it occasionally happens that your method of contraception fails and you need to take emergency measures.

Well, emergency contraception is also used in some other cases. Things happen. You can forget about any protection at all, withdrawal may not happen in time or you just can be forced to sex, which also happens. Luckily, there’s a way out for such situations too.

Emergency contraception is the birth control method that prevents pregnancy after the sexual intercourse. It should be started up to five days after unprotected sex, but the earlier, the better. The risk of unwanted pregnancy decreases if the woman takes measures as soon as possible.

The two principal emergency contraception options are hormonal pills and intrauterine devices (IUDs), oral and barrier contraception methods. The pills are similar to those typical birth control pills, but the dose of hormones in them is usually higher than in those that women take regularly. The first pill is usually taken as soon as the woman can get it, with the second dose following in 12 hours. Number of pills needed to be taken to prevent woman from unwanted pregnancy vary with the brand, and it is preferable to take the pills of the same brand.

The hormones act by keeping the egg from leaving the ovary and preventing fertilization. The pills usually contain progestin or combination of hormones. Numerous studies proved that progestin-only emergency contraception reduces the risk of pregnancy by 98 percent, while combination method – by 75 (both taken within 75 hours after unprotected intercourse).

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Remember, the method is not protecting you from pregnancy during the rest of the cycle, so there’s a need to keep it controlled. Unfortunately, it is doesn’t protect from sexually transmitted diseases either.

To keep the sperm from meeting an egg or keeping the egg from attaching to the uterus if the undesired ejaculation happened, the UIDs are used. The devise is inserted into the woman’s uterus as soon as possible after the intercourse. It can be removed after the next period or left in the uterus for the further contraception.

The possible emergency contraception side effects are those related to the hormonal actions: nausea, abdominal pain, fatigue, headache, menstrual changes, breast tenderness and dizziness.

Do not panic if the unwanted ejaculation happened. Just see the specialist and he will help you to take needed measures.

Daian L.


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