You will agree with me that the society today is not what it used to be with sexual activeness being on a whole new level. Most of the youths remain ignorant about family planning education, their existence or effectiveness. Awareness levels however, do also need to answer the great question, how safe are the ECPs?
Emergency Contraceptive Pills(ECPs)are a special regimen that contains either levonorgestrel or ulipristal hormone or a combination of both. They are strictly meant for “accidents” such as a condom breaking, rape, non use of or failure of contraception at the time of unprotected sex, to avoid unplanned pregnancy.
Levonorgestrel contraception is commonly known as Plan B. It contains 2 pills each containing 0.75mg of levonorgestrel each taken twelve hours apart. They work best within the first 24hours.
Ulipristal acetate comes as a single pill of 30mg and functions up to 120 hours after having unprotected sex. Pregnancy must be ruled out before taking as it poses effect on the foetus within the first trimester.
Emergency Contraception pills work by either delaying or preventing ovulation. Though its good to know there exists cases of failure even with correct use of the pills. ECPs do not protect against STIs or HIV neither do they cause abortion.
Effectiveness depends on the point at which the woman uses them in her menstrual cycle and how soon she takes them after unprotected sex.
Short-term side effects
- vomiting or nausea
- breast tenderness
- menstrual irregularities like bleeding between menstrual periods or heavier bleeding
Contact a health care provider if your bleeding lasts more than 3-5 weeks or if you develop abdominal cramps that last for weeks after use of ECPs.
Some studies indicate endometrial alterations which hinder implantation of a fertilized egg while others suggest no effect on the endometrium.