Mainly there are two forms of emergency contraception- emergency contraceptive pills which are also referred to as “morning-after pill” and intrauterine devices. Some emergency contraceptive pills contain high doses of the hormones that are found in birth control pills that is oestrogen, progesterone or both. These high doses of hormones are short lived. Preven is a emergency contraceptive pill. Plan B is progesterone only emergency contraceptive. The intra uterine device used for emergency contraception is the Copper T 380A IUD (ParaGard). IUD can be used for long time birth control. Emergency contraception prevents pregnancy by stopping or delaying the release of egg and thus blocking fertilization by affecting the egg or sperm or by preventing implantation by making the inner lining of uterus not fit for pregnancy. IUDs immobilize the sperm on its way to the fallopian tubes.
Emergency contraceptive pills do not terminate an existing pregnancy. Emergency contraceptive pills are generally taken in two doses which should be 12 hours apart. The Preven plan consists of two doses which are 12 hours apart. The pills here contain a combination of oestrogen and progesterone. The first dose should be taken within the first 72 hours after the unprotected intercourse. Plan B is the progesterone only emergency contraceptive pill which should be used within 72 hours of unprotected intercourse. The first dose should be taken as soon as possible after unprotected intercourse and the second dose is taken 12 hours later. Its effectiveness will increase if it is taken very soon after the intercourse. The intra uterine device can be inserted up to five days after the unprotected intercourse but it should be inserted as soon as possible. The UID can be removed after the next menstural period after the confirmation that the woman is not pregnant. The copper IUD is a reversible form of birth control which can be left in its place for up to ten years. IUDs are inserted and removed by health care professionals.
Women who want to prevent pregnancy and are not suffering from any infection, or some other serious diseases which can worsen due to the use of emergency contraceptives, can use emergency pills and IUDs. It is better to have a health check up and consult a doctor before taking any such kind of prevention measure.
Women who are pregnant, having undiagnosed vaginal bleeding and who are allergic to the products should not use the emergency contraception methods. Women have pelvic inflammatory disease, gonorrhoea, chlamydia should not use an IUD. Women who have Wilson disease should not use copper IUD. If a woman has abnormalities of cervix, uterus or ovaries then insertion of IUD can prove to be dangerous.
There are some side effects of using IUD like if a woman becomes pregnant in the presence IUD there is a chance of miscarriage and if the IUD remains there it poses a risk of serious infection to the woman. An IUD may also puncture the uterus wall when it is inserted. Cramping and backache may occur at first. Bleeding may occur for a couple of weeks after an IUD is placed. Some women even suffer from menstural pain and heavy periods if copper IUD is used. If a woman is in monogamous relationship then it is possible to suffer from pelvic inflammatory disease. Side effects of emergency contraceptive pills are nausea, abdominal pain, fatigue, headache and menstural changes. Breast tenderness and dizziness may also occur. Some serious risks which can also affect a woman include heart attack, blood clots and stroke.
There are no such post treatment guidelines.
Emergency contraceptives should be used within the suggested time so that those can work effectively. There is no such time of recovery.
The cost of the treatment depends on the cost of intra uterine device, payment for the procedure to insert it, fees of doctor etc. cost of emergency pills in India generally ranges from Rs.50 to Rs.100.
If used at the right time then the emergency contraceptives will work effectively and the result will be satisfying and permanent for that period of time.
There are other types of birth control methods. Emergency contraception methods are not as effective as ongoing birth control. They should not be used regularly as birth control methods. Many birth control methods are available through prescriptions and herbal contraceptives are also available. Herbal contraceptives need to be taken for a sustained period of time for them to be effective. Some herbal contraceptives have the capability of interfering with the implantation of the fertilized egg the uterine wall.