By Scott G. Chudnoff, MD, as informed to Camille Noe Pagán

A good deal of men and women assume emergency contraception (EC) is an abortion capsule, but that is not how it functions. If you’re currently expecting and you use it, it won’t end your pregnancy. EC only cuts down your odds of receiving expecting if you have experienced unprotected sexual intercourse or your start manage unsuccessful you over the previous numerous days.

Most types of emergency contraception have hormones that end your ovary from releasing an egg. (Some examples of hormonal ECs are Plan B, Plan B One particular-Move, Acquire Motion, and ella.) If you really don’t launch an egg, then sperm can’t fertilize it. That helps prevent pregnancy. But what several women really don’t realize is that there is a nonhormonal EC possibility offered. It is the Paragard copper IUD (intrauterine product). An IUD is a T-shaped product that is set into your uterus through your cervix. Sperm really don’t like copper, so they really don’t get previous Paragard to attain and fertilize an egg.

The thing about EC is that the faster you use it, the greater it functions. Which is primarily correct if you’re shut to ovulation in your menstrual cycle. Most women aren’t accurately guaranteed when they ovulate, which is an additional reason why it is finest to choose emergency contraception as soon as attainable immediately after you have experienced unprotected sexual intercourse. If you do know you have just ovulated or are about to, then ella and Paragard are extra effective than other types of EC. Ella and Paragard are also extra effective if it is been extra than three days since you have experienced unprotected sexual intercourse. But they genuinely function only inside of about a 5-day span. If it is been for a longer period than 5 days, they are much considerably less likely to function.

Ella involves a prescription, and you are going to need to have a doctor to insert Paragard. But most EC is offered over the counter. That doesn’t mean you are going to find it sitting down on the shelf at the pharmacy or grocery retail store, however. In several circumstances, you have to question a pharmacist for it.


It is always a good notion to speak with your doctor ahead of taking a new treatment, which includes emergency contraception. They could have unique suggestions that can assist you. For case in point, if you’re overweight or are tall with a massive frame, ella is extra likely to function than Plan B. But when you get in touch with your doctor’s office environment, make guaranteed you convey to them you’re contacting about EC, so they set you in touch with your doctor proper absent.

That reported, if you’re on getaway or it is a holiday break or weekend and your doctor is not offered, really don’t wait around to choose EC. The for a longer period you wait around, the greater your odds of receiving expecting. Moreover, investigate displays that EC is secure for women of all ages. The only true reason not to use it would be if you’re currently expecting or if you have experienced a unfavorable response to EC in the previous.

The most prevalent facet outcomes to hormonal EC are nausea and vomiting, whilst an IUD can cause cramping and bleeding. You could really feel a minor awkward for a day or two immediately after taking it. Which is ordinary. So is irregular menstrual bleeding afterward. Your subsequent period of time could be heavier or lighter than it ordinarily is. It could be afterwards than regular, far too, which could make you assume you’re expecting. If you’re nervous, consider taking a pregnancy test. And have faith in your intestine: If a little something appears wrong, this kind of as genuinely weighty bleeding, get in touch with your doctor or go to the emergency area.

Emergency contraception is for emergencies. It is not a substitution for start manage. Sadly, doctors do see clients who rely on EC to prevent pregnancy for the reason that they really don’t want to use, say, condoms. But you’re extra likely to get expecting if you rely on EC. Most EC is only seventy five{de67ab9575e0f65325df988e3a8731ef61b975ae2223cdff83ba315b2ed86bd4} effective, whereas most start manage is nearer to 90{de67ab9575e0f65325df988e3a8731ef61b975ae2223cdff83ba315b2ed86bd4} to 98{de67ab9575e0f65325df988e3a8731ef61b975ae2223cdff83ba315b2ed86bd4} effective.

Beginning manage tends to be considerably less high-priced than EC, far too. The value for EC can fluctuate, relying on wherever you are living. Some over-the-counter EC can operate as low as $10 a capsule. But other varieties can price up to $90 for every capsule. Most well being insurance coverage handles the comprehensive price of an IUD. The bottom line is, if you really don’t want to get expecting, you need to have a trustworthy kind of start manage that you use persistently. Incidents take place, and emergency contraception is a great possibility for individuals. But it is not for daily use.



Scott G. Chudnoff, MD, chair, Division of OB/GYN, Stamford Medical center, Stamford, CT clinical professor of obstetrics and gynecology, Columbia College Vagelos Faculty of Medical professionals and Surgeons, New York Town.

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