Lucy Gordon|04.07.2014|Feature Sex Life
We’ve busted some of the myths around the morning after pill

There seems to be a pill for everything these days. So knowing exactly what these pills do inside our body is always good to know. When it comes to the morning after pill, a pill that significantly reduces your chance of becoming pregnant after unprotected sex, getting to grips with the finer points is not just nice – it’s vital. Unfortunately, there are tonnes of rumours flapping around out there about the morning after pill. So, we’ve debunked some myths to help you get your facts straight.

Myth: The morning after pill causes an abortion.

The pill delays the release of an egg from the ovaries or prevents it from becoming implanted in the uterus. Pregnancy is prevented rather than terminated.

Myth: You have to take the pill the morning after.

Bit of a misnomer. You can also take the pill up to 72 hours after sex (some doctors say 120 hours after, it depends on the pill). However, the longer you leave it, the more likely you are to get pregnant.

Myth: The morning after pill is your only option after unprotected sex.

Getting an intrauterine device (IUD) fitted is actually more effective at preventing pregnancy than the morning after pill. It can be fitted up to 120 hours after sex but the downside is that it can be painful for some women.

Myth: Taking the morning after pill repeatedly can damage your fertility.

There’s no evidence to suggest the pill has any long-term effects on your fertility or anything else. However, if you find yourself having to take the morning after pill regularly, you might want to reconsider your birth control options.

Myth: You can only use the morning after pill once per menstrual cycle.

The rules on this vary according to which brand of pill you use. Levonelle can be taken more than once per cycle whereas ellaOne cannot.

Myth: Popping the morning after pill is an easy solution.

The morning after pill is by no means perfect. It is far less effective than pre-emptive contraceptives, it can cause short-term side effects including nausea, headaches, or abdominal pain. Your periods can get messed up a bit for a while too. You also need to combine getting the morning after pill with an STI check after unprotected sex.

Want to know more about the contraceptive pill? Click here to find out 5 reasons why the pill rocks.

Or while you’re at it, why not check out some forms of non-hormonal contraception.

(Image credit: Canadian Federation for Sexual Health)

 

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