What can make the morning-after pill fail?

How effective is the morning after pill? [Shuttershock]

How effective is the morning after pill? [Shuttershock]

The morning-after pill is a form of emergency contraceptive that contains levonorgestrel, a synthetic progesterone which postpones or stop ovulation. However, levonorgestrel is not infallible

Here are three scenarios in which the morning-after pill might not be effective:

After 72 hours (three days) of unprotected sex, the pill’s effectiveness dramatically drops. Your odds are better the sooner you take it after unprotected sex.

The pill cannot prevent fertilisation of the egg if you ovulating, this is because the pill is supposed to delay ovulation and the egg from being released. This is why it’s important to track your cycle before sex so you can determine your ovulation window and risk of pregnancy after taking the pill.

Only the cycle for which you take the tablet is effective. It does not shield you from becoming pregnant if you have sex again. Therefore, engaging in unprotected sexual activity following the pill puts you at risk of pregnancy.

Consider these options if you want more dependable emergency contraception:

Copper IUDs, also known as non-hormonal IUDs or copper T IUDs, are long-lasting intrauterine devices used for birth control. They are small, T-shaped plastic devices inserted into the uterus by healthcare professionals.

The copper wire releases ions that reduce sperm motility and thicken the cervical mucus, making it harder for sperm to penetrate. This IUD, inserted within 120 hours of unprotected sex, offers the most effective emergency contraception

hormonal and copper iud [plannedparenthood]

hormonal and copper iud [plannedparenthood]

This also known as levonorgestrel-releasing IUDs, are long-lasting intrauterine devices used for both birth control and managing heavy or painful periods.

The IUD releases a small amount of progestin via levonorgestrel into the uterus daily, thereby preventing pregnancy by thinning the uterine lining, thickening cervical mucus, and sometimes suppressing ovulation, making it difficult for fertilised eggs to implant.

Similar to the copper IUD, this IUD can also be inserted within 120 hours after unprotected sex for effective emergency contraception

There are some side effects to using IUDs. Side effects include hormonal imbalance, cramps and headaches.

Note: The morning-after pill and an IUD shouldn’t be used simultaneously, if not they will counteract each other.

Finally, the morning-after pill is not an everyday type of birth control; rather, it is an emergency backup. See your doctor about long-term choices of a dependable contraceptive

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