Do you watch the tv present “ER”? Throughout an episode in 1997, Nurse Hathaway (Carol) provided the choice of emergency contraception drugs to a younger girl who had simply been pressured to have intercourse towards her will. It is doable that between 5 and 6 million folks realized about emergency contraception that day.

In accordance with the Kaiser Household Basis, nearly 3 million unintended pregnancies occur every year in the US. You may think about why — a condom tears, a diaphragm slips out of place, a girl misses two contraception drugs in a row. Or, a pair has gotten “swept away” within the momentum of lovemaking and has uncared for to make use of contraception. Maybe a rape has occurred. With out remedy, eight in 100 ladies who’ve had one act of unprotected intercourse through the second or third week of their cycle are prone to change into pregnant. With emergency contraception, solely two ladies in 100 could be in the identical state of affairs.

What Is Emergency Contraception?

There are two varieties of emergency contraception drugs (ECPs). One is a mix of estrogen and progestin, and the opposite is a progestin-only capsule. Relying on when they’re taken through the menstrual cycle, ECPs can inhibit or delay ovulation; inhibit transport of the egg or sperm; or alter the liner of the uterus to forestall implantation of a fertilized egg.

An alternative choice, which is definitely the best, is a copper IUD. This must be inserted by a medical skilled inside 5 days of unprotected intercourse. It might stop the implantation of a fertilized egg.

How Does It Work?

ECPs, typically known as the morning after capsule, should be taken inside 72 hours of the unprotected intercourse. The drugs are simpler the sooner a girl takes them inside the 72-hour time interval.

Drugs are taken in two doses, with the second dose taken 12 hours after the primary. Every dose is one, two, 4 or 5 drugs, relying on the model. You want a prescription to get ECPs, though some medical suppliers at the moment are writing prescriptions prematurely.

L evonorgestrel/ethinyl estradiol (Preven) is packaged particularly for emergency-contraceptive use. It accommodates each hormones, estrogen and progestin, and reduces the prospect of being pregnant by 75 p.c. About 50 p.c of ladies who take this really feel nauseous and one other 20 p.c vomit.

Levonorgestrel ( Plan B ) is progestin-only and has been in the marketplace since July of 1999. It is simpler than Preven and has fewer unintended effects related to it.

The copper IUD prevents a fertilized egg from being implanted within the uterus. About 80% of ladies maintain the IUD inserted as contraception for as much as 10 years. 

Why Have not You Heard about ECPs?

Though the Meals and Drug Administration declared ECPs to be secure and efficient in 1997, solely 10 p.c of well being professionals focus on emergency contraception on a routine foundation with their sufferers, based on a survey that very same yr by the Kaiser Household Basis.

Forty-one p.c of People are nonetheless unaware of the existence of ECPs. The truth is, solely 11 p.c of ladies aged 18 to 44 have each heard of ECPs and know that the drugs have to be taken inside 72 hours of unprotected intercourse.

Keep in mind that all of us make errors. Unintended being pregnant crosses all boundaries — age, race, ethnicity, social class. Specialists estimate that as many as 1.7 million of the over 3 million unintended pregnancies that occur every year in the US might probably be prevented by way of ECPs. This consists of as many as 800,000 pregnancies that now lead to abortions. Would not you quite maintain a provide readily available, simply in case? Ask your physician about emergency contraception at your subsequent go to.

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