Just like the name suggests, morning-after pills are usually taken the morning after someone has had unprotected sex in order to prevent pregnancy. We all know what it is, but do we know the facts behind it? How does it work? Is it effective? There are so many myths surrounding morning-after pills, and in this article, we are going to discuss some of the common misconceptions about emergency contraception.
1. It can only be effective the morning after
Many people believe that the morning-after pill only works within 24 hours after unprotected intercourse. This is a myth. It seems that this name “morning-after” misleads many users because there are forms of emergency contraception that one can take up to 5 days later. Other types should be taken within three days, but it is still important to take them as soon as possible to be on the safe side. An important point to note is that these pills are best taken before ovulation has happened.
2. The emergency contraception should work no matter what
This is not true. There are cases where the pills fail to work. Its effectiveness depends on how soon you take the pill, and the type also matters. It is recommended to take the pills within 12-24 hours after engaging in unprotected sex. Keep in mind that some medications also prevent the emergency pill from working, especially over the counter medicines. The most common types that can disrupt the pill’s effectiveness are common treatments for heartburn and epilepsy. Please note that this pill can also fail to work if taken after ovulation.
3. Using an emergency pill is a way of having an abortion
This is a widespread misunderstanding where most women think that taking emergency contraception is like having an abortion. However, emergency contraceptives just prevent both fertilization of the egg and implantation after sexual intercourse. It only blocks that process, and this is far from having an abortion. Please do not take the pill after the window for taking it is over.
4. The most expensive is the most effective
You’re mistaken if this is your thinking. Remember, we have the original versions and the generic ones which are equally effective. The generic versions could be half the price of the branded ones, but the price does not imply that they are less effective. As confirmed by the FDA, they contain the same active ingredients as the branded versions.
5. Emergency pills cause infertility
The frequent use of emergency contraception is not advised, but using it more than once cannot cause infertility. It is just a temporary method of preventing pregnancy, and research suggests that an emergency pill has no long-term effects on your fertility. You can take it more than once in your cycle but do not use different types in such a case.
6. After taking emergency contraception, you are safe for the entire menstrual cycle
Taking an emergency pill does not prevent you from getting pregnant later on in your menstrual cycle. If you engage in unprotected sex again before your period, you would need to take another pill.
7. Emergency pills can cause ectopic pregnancy
If the work of emergency contraception is to prevent pregnancy, then it prevents ectopic pregnancy as well. There has never been evidence to support this myth.
These are some of the myths that have prevented women from using emergency contraception in the past. Hopefully this article has cleared up any misunderstandings you had regarding the morning-after pill. Remember to take your morning-after pill if you are not ready to get pregnant, but do not use it regularly as this is not what it is meant for. Take them when accidents happen.