Sunday, April 21, 2024

Emergency Contraception: America’s Greatest-Saved Secret


Do you watch the tv present “ER”? Throughout an episode in 1997, Nurse Hathaway (Carol) supplied the choice of emergency contraception drugs to a younger lady who had simply been compelled to have intercourse in opposition to 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, virtually 3 million unintended pregnancies occur annually in the US. You possibly can 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 girls who’ve had one act of unprotected intercourse throughout the second or third week of their cycle are prone to turn out to be pregnant. With emergency contraception, solely two girls in 100 could be in the identical scenario.

What Is Emergency Contraception?

There are two varieties of emergency contraception drugs (ECPs). One is a mixture of estrogen and progestin, and the opposite is a progestin-only capsule. Relying on when they’re taken throughout 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.

Another choice, which is definitely the best, is a copper IUD. This needs to be inserted by a medical skilled inside 5 days of unprotected intercourse. It might forestall the implantation of a fertilized egg.

How Does It Work?

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

Tablets 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 are actually writing prescriptions prematurely.

L evonorgestrel/ethinyl estradiol (Preven) is packaged particularly for emergency-contraceptive use. It comprises each hormones, estrogen and progestin, and reduces the possibility of being pregnant by 75 p.c. About 50 p.c of girls 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 more practical 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 girls preserve 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 protected and efficient in 1997, solely 10 p.c of well being professionals talk about emergency contraception on a routine foundation with their sufferers, based on a survey that very same 12 months by the Kaiser Household Basis.

Forty-one p.c of Individuals are nonetheless unaware of the existence of ECPs. In actual fact, solely 11 p.c of girls aged 18 to 44 have each heard of ECPs and know that the drugs should be taken inside 72 hours of unprotected intercourse.

Do not forget that all of us make errors. Unintended being pregnant crosses all boundaries — age, race, ethnicity, social class. Consultants estimate that as many as 1.7 million of the over 3 million unintended pregnancies that occur annually in the US might probably be prevented by way of ECPs. This contains as many as 800,000 pregnancies that now end in abortions. Would not you reasonably preserve a provide readily available, simply in case? Ask your physician about emergency contraception at your subsequent go to.


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