Your sexual health is paramount, and as a woman, it’s important that you’re clued up when it comes to emergency contraception. Also known as the morning after pill, this treatment is designed to prevent pregnancy if you have unprotected sex. So whether you think you’ve got it already sussed or not, here are three facts you should know about this type of emergency contraception.
The morning after pill: 3 facts you should know
- It’s easily accessible
It’s common misconception among women that it can be difficult and embarrassing to get your hands on the morning after pill. The truth is, emergency contraception can be easily accessed from a whole host of places, including your GP surgery, your local chemist and sexual health clinics. If you’d rather not discuss this subject with someone face-to-face, you could visit an online pharmacy instead. Some specialist websites, such as https://onlinedoctor.lloydspharmacy.com/, offer a discreet service whereby you can obtain emergency contraception without needing to speak to anyone directly. You will be required to complete an online consultation beforehand to ensure the morning after pill is suitable for you to use.
- There are two types available
Levonelle and ellaOne are the two kinds of the emergency contraceptive pill available. Although both work to prevent pregnancy after unprotected sex, they are different in some ways. For example, Levonelle is made up of levonorgestrel – an artificial version of the body’s natural hormone progesterone, which plays a key role in ovulation and preparing the uterus for receiving a fertilised egg. While it’s not known exactly how it works, it’s thought to delay and prevent ovulation, therefore stopping you from getting pregnant. On the other hand, ellaOne contains ulipristal acetate. This is designed to stop progesterone from working as it normally should, and like Levonelle, it prevents pregnancy by delaying and stopping ovulation.
The biggest difference between Levonelle and ellaOne is the timeframe in which they need to be taken in order to be effective. Levonelle needs to be taken within 72 hours of having sex, while ellaOne can work for up to 120 hours after sex. It’s important to note that the sooner either morning after pill is taken, the more effective it will be.
For help deciding which version is best suited to you, you should speak to a medical professional.
- You may experience some side effects
Like with most medicines, there are some side effects associated with the morning after pill. Common symptoms include stomach pain, headaches, feeling sick, tiredness and irregular or heavy bleeding before your next period. In some cases, you may also experience breast tenderness, dizziness and vomiting. It’s important to note that if you are sick within two hours of taking Levonelle or three hours of taking ellaOne, you will likely need another dose. If you’re concerned about the effects of emergency contraception, you should consult a doctor or pharmacist.
Practising safe sex is essential. However if you’re ever caught out, this information should give you added peace of mind that there are steps you can take to prevent an unwanted pregnancy.