The Emergency Contraceptive Pill: Myths And Misbeliefs
There are many misconceptions about the emergency contraceptive pill, also known as the morning after pill. The pill is used after unprotected sex to prevent pregnancy, but many women are reluctant to use it, often because of misinformation or lack of awareness. There is also embarrassment and the perceived stigma of using emergency contraception. Here are some common myths and misbeliefs related to the pill to help you make an informed decision about using this contraception method.
The pill is only effective within 24 hours
A common misconception about the pill is that it only works when you take it within 24 hours of having unprotected sex. While it is true that it is most effective within this time period, studies have found that the emergency contraceptive pill can be effective for up to five days. The misbelief has likely arisen because of the common use of the “morning after pill” to describe this type of emergency contraception. While the pill works for longer than most people think, it is important to take it as soon as possible for the best results.
It is only for people who have unprotected sex
The idea that emergency contraception is only used when having sex without a condom is a common myth. The pill is also an option if you are worried about pregnancy despite using contraception. For example, if a condom broke or slipped during sex. It could also be an option if you forgot to take birth control pills. The morning after pill can still be used safely and effectively, even if you are using other contraception options.
Emergency contraception is like an abortion
The belief that using the morning after pill is akin to getting an abortion is a myth. The truth is that this type of contraception prevents an egg from becoming fertilized or implanted after unprotected sex. Therefore, no pregnancy is in progress, since an egg has not been fertilized or implanted on the uterus. An abortion, on the other hand, terminates a pregnancy. If you are pregnant, the pill will not work.
It is the only type of emergency contraception
The morning after pill is one of the most well-known types of emergency contraception, although it is not the only method available. An emergency intrauterine device (IUD), also known as an emergency coil, is another option you can use to avoid pregnancy after unprotected sex. An IUD is a small, T-shaped device fitted by medical staff to block any fertilized egg from implanting onto the uterus.
The pill is hard to find
While it is common for someone to feel embarrassment about using emergency contraception, a common misbelief is that the emergency contraceptive pill is difficult to find. The morning after pill is widely and readily available. You can get the pill at no cost from your doctor or a contraception clinic. You can also purchase it securely and safely from licensed pharmacies that offer online services. Remember, the ‘pill’ is made up of two pills that must be taken as instructed by medical staff. Also, men can collect the pill too (another common misconception).
Emergency contraception causes infertility
Emergency contraception has short-term effects on your body and your ability to conceive. Side effects are rare and usually mild when they happen, including nausea and headaches. The pill causes a temporary inability to get pregnant by preventing fertilization or implantation of an egg, and there are no known long-term impacts on fertility. Despite this, women should not use the pill on a regular basis to prevent pregnancy. Birth control pills, condoms, and other contraception methods should be used for routine contraception since these are the most effective ways to prevent pregnancy.