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All you need to know about the morning-after pill

It is no secret that the chances of getting pregnant can be high if you have had unprotected sex, if the condom has broken or if you do not use any other regular planning method.

Since the mid-1960s, the morning-after pill began to be used as a treatment for rape victims to prevent unintended pregnancy. Although it was effective, it came with severe side effects such as pain, blood clots, bleeding, and nausea.

Without a doubt, the morning-after pill provided women with great freedom by being able to control the frequency and number of pregnancies. Still, there are several important factors to consider when choosing this pill as an emergency method.

What are the components of a regular morning-after pill? The morning-after pill is usually made up of levonorgestrel (1.5 mg), a synthetic progestin that mimics the effects of the hormone progesterone. Some pharmaceutical companies also combine levonorgestrel with estrogen.

In what period should it be taken after having unprotected sex? The ideal scenario is to take it within 12 hours of having unprotected intercourse and up to a maximum of 72 hours (3 days) of having sex.

How effective are they? It is more effective the sooner you take it since its effectiveness decreases over time. Single-dose emergency contraceptive pills prevent pregnancy 50% to 100% of the time, although this also depends on when you are ovulating and if there are interactions with other medications.

How do they work internally? The medicine works by delaying the release of the egg from the ovary (ovulation), preventing sperm from fertilizing it.

What are the possible side effects?

  • Nausea and vomiting

  • Headache

  • Abdominal pain

  • Diarrhea

  • Breast tenderness

  • Bleeding

  • Fatigue

Remember that they should not be confused with abortion pills; they are not useful in women who are already pregnant.

And most importantly, it should NEVER become the routine method due to its high doses of progestogens, since as its name suggests, it is only for EMERGENCIES. On the contrary, it is advisable to opt for contraceptive methods prescribed by a gynecologist and, in this way, be able to live from your sexuality more freely and responsibly.

Don't forget the importance of tracking your period, including symptoms, as well as possible changes you notice, whether physical or emotional. You can do this by downloading our Adira app, available worldwide on Google Play and iOS.


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