Though pregnancy is one of the most cherished phases in a woman’s life, there are times when it is not desired. This can be due to various reasons ranging from premarital sex to the couple not being ready yet. Whatever the reason, emergency contraceptive measures are available, and I-Pill has become synonymous with that.
Since its introduction, it is widely used to prevent unwanted pregnancies. The easy availability (no prescription required) and low cost have added to its popularity. However, not many realize it has some side-effects and the need to be aware of certain facts when using the I-pill.
- It is an emergency contraceptive pill, should be used between 24 to 72 hours after unprotected sex
- It is effective in 95% of the women when taking during this time frame
- It prevents pregnancy by stopping fertilisation or preventing implantation of the fertilising egg
- It stops pregnancy; however, if you conceive before the pill it was taken, it will not have any effect. It is therefore not an abortion pill
- So, if you miss the period the next month, test for pregnancy
- It does not offer protection against sexually transmitted disease including HIV/AIDS
- It is not to be used on a regular basis
- If you are on long-term medication, please consult with the doctor before taking the I-pill
- It has no long-term consequence. However, there could be some minor symptoms including breast tenderness, nausea, vomiting, headache, and lower abdominal pain (pelvic area),
- The next menstrual cycle could be delayed by a couple of days
- There could also be spotting before the actual period starts
- Women who are allergic to levonorgestrel should not take I-pill.
- It can cause skin allergies and reduce libido.
- When used repeatedly, it can cause delayed and irregular menstruation
- It is ideal for use between the age of 25 and 45. Teenagers should not use it regularly. This needs to be made aware through sex education, as the prevalence of teenage sex and pregnancy is on the rise in India
- Repeated usage can cause ovarian damage and severe menstrual issues, so occasional use is the only recommended usage
- It is safe to take the pill during lactation. There is no effect on the quality of milk or any other adverse effect on the baby
I-Pill was introduced as an emergency contraceptive method, and not for regular contraceptive purpose. Its correct usage and avoiding complications is largely dependent on sex education which needs to start early and talk about other safe sex measures and avoid using it on a regular basis. In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!