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See more Contraceptive Methods

Emergency Contraceptives

At a Glance:
• Emergency Contraceptive Pill/s (EC) or Copper IUD both work as emergency contraception and are used after unprotected sex to decrease chances of pregnancy.
• Should only be used after unprotected sex, if another birth control method failed, or if birth control was not used.
• Can be used up to 5 days after unprotected sex
• EC pills are easy to get
• EC pills are not as effective as other birth control methods
• If taken within 72 hours after unprotected sex, EC pills can be up to 88% effective
• If inserted within 120 hours after unprotected sex, copper IUDs are 99.9% effective

 

What is it?

Emergency contraception makes it much less likely that a woman will get pregnant if taken within the first few days after unprotected sex. It is a method that should be taken as a last resort when other contraceptive methods have failed or were not used during unplanned intercourse.

You may want to use it if:

  • you weren’t using any birth control when you had sex
  • you forgot to take your birth control pills or use condoms
  • your partner’s condom broke or slipped off
  • your partner didn’t pull out in time or
  • you were forced to have unprotected vaginal sex.

Emergency contraceptive pills (EC) stops a pregnancy before it starts; it’s meant as a backup plan, not regular birth control. In Myanmar, EC comes with either one or two pills. Emergency contraception can be used up to five days (120 hours) after unprotected intercourse, but the sooner you use it, the more effective it will be.

Another method that can also be used as emergency contraception is the copper IUD. Copper IUDs can be used as emergency contraception if inserted by a health care provider within 120 hours (five days) after unprotected intercourse. It is 99.9% effective, even on day five, and can be left in as ongoing birth control for as long as you want, up to 10 years. This makes it the most effective type of emergency contraception out there. While IUDs can be more expensive upfront, they are more economic because they can be used as extremely effective birth control for years. Talk with your health care provider if you’re interested in getting an IUD.

 

Pregnancy doesn’t happen right after sex. That’s why it’s possible to prevent pregnancy even after unprotected sex. It can take up to seven days for the sperm and egg to meet after having sex.

EC pills are used to prevent pregnancy by preventing the sperm and egg from meeting. The emergency contraceptive pill does this by giving the body a large dosage of the hormone progestin, which prevent an egg from leaving the ovary and traveling to the uterus for fertilization. This is the same hormone that is present in many other hormonal contraceptive methods, but just in a higher dosage.

EC pills makes it much less likely that a woman will get pregnant if taken within the first few days after unprotected sex. However, how much it reduces the likelihood of pregnancy depends on how soon it is taken after unprotected sex and at what stage of her menstrual cycle a woman is in when she takes it. The closer a woman is to ovulation, the lower the effectiveness. That is why effectiveness rates are not absolute when it comes to EC. Even if taken within 72 hours, if a woman is ovulating, the risk of pregnancy is much higher because the egg has already been released from the ovary. That is why it is always recommended to use a normal form of birth control such as condoms or daily oral contraception.

Copper IUDs work as an emergency contraceptive because they are toxic to sperm, thus stopping sperm from meeting an egg up to 5 days after unprotected sex.

Take the EC pill as soon as possible after unprotected intercourse. It will reduce your risk of pregnancy if you use it up to 120 hours (five days) after unprotected intercourse, but is more effective the sooner you take it.

Some brands have one pill, and some have two. If using a single pill, all you have to do is take that pill as soon as you can after unprotected sex.

The instructions on brands with two pills may say to take the pills 12 hours apart. But research shows it is just as effective and safe to take both pills at the same time. If vomits within 2 hours after taking the pill, you have to take it again.

After you take emergency contraception, it’s normal for your next period to be different from usual.

  • It may be earlier or later than usual
  • It may be heavier, lighter, more spotty, or the same as usual.

You may also experience dizziness or nausea after using EC pills.

If you get a copper IUD inserted within 5 days after unprotected sex, it can lower the chance of pregnancy by 99.9%. You’ll need to make an appointment with a health care provider to have this procedure. However, keep in mind that in Myanmar, some doctors refuse to insert the device if you are not menstruating at the time of insertion.

  • Pregnancy can be prevented after unprotected, unplanned or unsolicited sex
  • Offers more protection and peace of mind than doing nothing
  • Easy to use
  • Available over the counter at most drugstores
  • Copper IUDs are 99.9% effective and can be used for up to 5-10 years

EC Pills:

  • Can cause upset stomach and vomiting
  • Could cause breast tenderness, irregular bleeding, dizziness, headaches (short-term), and temporary changes to the menstrual cycle.

Copper IUD:

  • May cause cramping after insertion
  • Might lead to heavier or longer periods
  • Need to make an appointment with doctor for inse

Lydia 1Safe Pill

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