Emergencies can creep up on you! Emergency Contraception (EC) can prevent you from becoming pregnant after you have had unprotected sex if you take it within three days of your sexual slip-up!
WHEN WOULD YOU WANT TO USE EMERGENCY CONTRACEPTION?
1) When you have forgotten to take your birth control and you had unprotected sex.
2) When you did not use a condom and you want to make sure that you do not end up pregnant.
3) When you have missed your scheduled Depot Shot.
4) If you have been forced to have sex against your will and you want to make sure that you do not end up pregnant.
If a woman takes a dose of Emergency Contraception within 3 days of unprotected sex (seventy-two hours), the risk of her becoming pregnant is reduced by 79-89%. Emergency contraception should be used as its name staes, in emergency situations. It should not be used as a regular form of birth control. Nor should it be used on a regular basis.
Remember that Emergency Contraception will not be able to prevent you from getting an STD or HIV. That is why it is important to use Latex condoms with water-based lubrication during all sexual encounters. However, I understand that we have all had slip-ups, so emergency contraception can help prevent unwanted pregnancies, but not unwanted infections.
EMERGENCY CONTRACEPTION IS NOT AN ABORTION.
Emergency Contraception is not an abortion! It works to prevent unwanted pregnancies by delaying or stopping ovulation, making it hard for the sperm to fertilize the egg, or by preventing the fertilized egg from attaching to the womb. All of these events occur before a pregnancy begins. When you become pregnant, the egg is usually attached or implanted into the womb within five to seven days after the sperm and the egg meet, this is why you have up to 3 days to take the pills. Since emergency contraception is not an abortion, it will not work if the woman is already pregnant.
WHERE CAN I GET EMERGENCY CONTRACEPTION?
Right now you must get a prescription either from your physician or through Planned Parenthood in most states to get emergency contraception. When your doctor prescribes your regular birth control for you, make sure you tell him/her that you would also like a prescription for emergency contraception. Many pharmacies do not keep it in stock, so get it filled ahead of time and keep it in your drawer for emergency situations.
WHAT IS EMERGENCY CONTRACEPTION?
Emergency contraception uses the same hormone that is contained in many birth control pills. Before the invention of prepackaged emergency contraception, physicians would use packs of birth control pills to accomplish the same thing.
WHAT ARE SOME POTENTIAL SIDE EFFECTS?
Most of the potential side affects are the same ones that are associated with oral birth control pills. These include: nausea, abdominal pain, tiredness, headache, dizziness, breast tenderness, and changes in your menstrual cycle.