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  Emergency Contraceptive

   Home >> Parenting >> Birth Control
Birth Control  

Note: Information provided on this page is for reference only, please seek medical assistance when in doubt

Emergency contraceptives are medications or devices used after unprotected sexual intercourse with a hope of preventing unwanted pregnancy. They are sometime also referred as morning-after pills.

Emergency contraceptives work primarily by preventing ovulation or fertilization. A number of pills exist including high dose birth control pills, levonorgestrel, mifepristone, ulipristal and IUDs.

Levonorgestrel pills, when used within 3 days, decrease the chance of pregnancy after a single episode of unprotected sex or condom failure by about 70% which results in overall pregnancy rate of about 2.2%.

Ulipristal, when used within 5 days, decreases the chance of pregnancy by about 85% which results in overall pregnancy rate of about 1.4% and generally considered to be a little more effective than levonorgestrel.

Mifepristone is also more effective than levonorgestrel while copper IUDs are the most effective method. IUDs can be inserted up to five days after intercourse and prevents about 99% of pregnancies after an episode of unprotected sex which results in overall pregnancy rate of about 0.1 to 0.2% which simply makes it the most effective form of emergency contraceptive.

In those who are overweight or obese levonorgestrel is less effective and an IUD or ulipristal is generally recommended.

Emergency contraceptive pills do not affect rate of sexually transmitted infections, and should be used as a method for birth control only. To prevent sexually transmitted infections use of condom is generally recommended.

An alternative to emergency contraceptive pills is the copper-T intrauterine device (IUD) which can be used up to 5 days after unprotected intercourse to prevent pregnancy. Insertion of an IUD is more effective than use of Emergency Contraceptive Pills. Pregnancy rates when used as emergency contraception are the same as with normal IUD use. IUDs may be left in place following the subsequent menstruation to provide ongoing contraception usually for 3 to 10 years depending upon type used

If a woman's menstrual period is delayed by two weeks or more even after consuming emergency contraceptive pills, it is advised that she take a pregnancy test

Note: Emergency contraceptives do have some side effects.

Birth Control
  Birth Control Overview
  Different method of birth control
  Different contraceptive devices and medications
  Comparison of birth control methods
  Effect on Health
  Effect on family economy

Birth Control Calculators
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  When is Ovulation (Ovulation Calculator)

Birth Control FAQs
  Birth control and your cycle FAQs
  Birth control and your health FAQs
  Contraceptive Pills FAQs
  Depo Provera (Shot) FAQs
  NuvaRing (Ring) FAQs
  Ortho Evra (Patch) FAQs
  Other Birth Control FAQS
Birth Control Methods
  Emergency contraceptive
  Fertility awareness
  Intrauterine devices
  Lactational amenorrhea

Contraceptive Device & Medications
  Cervical caps
  Contraceptive sponges with spermicide
  Emergency contraceptive
  Implants under the skin
  Intrauterine devices (IUDs)
  Oral pills
  Vaginal ring




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