Emergency Contraception

by Charlotte Wood
(last updated March 20, 2009)

Contraception didn't used to be as easy as it is now, and it used to be quite dangerous for both men and women. Fortunately, in today's day and age, contraception is easy to access and socially acceptable. It's almost socially expected—any who engage in sexual relations are, by default, assumed to be on some form of birth control. You should remember, however, that no birth control method is one hundred percent effective, and you always need to be prepared for the event that your birth control didn't pull through. You should be aware of emergency contraception methods so that you know what to do in the case of a birth control emergency.

Even though the birth control pill is mostly effective, it's not always effective; even though condoms are mostly effective, they're not always effective. A woman can ovulate while on the pill, a condom can break. Contraception is not a one percent success kind of science—emergency contraception is always good to keep as an available option in case you need it.

Emergency contraception is supposed to prevent pregnancy after sexual intercourse has already happened. Emergency contraception is often called "the morning after pill," "the day after pill," or the "morning after contraception." Essentially what emergency contraception does is chemically counteract any fertilization that might have taken place. You can use emergency contraception immediately after having sex or even up to five days after sex.

There are a couple of forms of emergency contraception: the aforementioned "morning after" pill or a copper intrauterine device. The morning after pill releases progestin (and sometimes progestin with estrogen) to fool the woman's body into thinking that it is already pregnant, thus counteracting any potentially real pregnancy. The copper intrauterine device can be inserted anytime into the woman's uterus up to five days after intercourse, and works in a similar way.

The thing to remember about emergency contraception is that you can't use that as your only form of birth control. If you're responsible, then you'll use a few different forms of contraception, which can always include emergency contraception. Don't rely on emergency contraception to completely protect you against unwanted pregnancy—you need to protect yourself in several different ways and emergency contraception can be only one of those ways.

Author Bio

Charlotte Wood

MORE FROM CHARLOTTE

Choosing the Right Accessories

Sometimes your outfit is all but perfect—it just needs the perfect accessories to really set it off. You need to ...

Discover More

Dealing with Lenders

Most of us will at one point in our lives need to take out a loan and so we'll need to know how to deal with our lenders. ...

Discover More

What is Cosmetic Dentistry?

Dentistry doesn't necessarily have to be just about the health of your teeth anymore. Cosmetic dentistry is now available ...

Discover More
More Health Tips

Oral Contraceptives

With so many different contraceptives on the market it is important to know which one is right for you. Oral ...

Discover More

Vaginal Contraceptives

There are several types of contraceptives out there at your disposal and you should try and consider vaginal ...

Discover More

Natural Contraceptives

There are several types of contraception out there, and you should know which is best for you. Natural contraceptives are ...

Discover More
Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is five more than 2?

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your comment—just use the simple form above!)