Morning After Pill
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Morning after pill
What does the morning after pill do?
Emergency contraception, also known as the morning after pill, works to prevent pregnancy after unprotected sex. If you have had unprotected sex (for example, if the condom has split or you forgot to take your usual contraceptive), the morning after pill can act as a backup and stop you from getting pregnant.
What is the morning after pill?
The morning after pill is a single tablet that is prescribed after unprotected sex to stop pregnancy from occurring. There are two morning after pills available in the UK, and Medicine Direct sell both. Levonelle contains a man-made version of progesterone, which is a natural hormone made by the ovaries. It stops or delays the release of the egg, meaning that ovulation does not occur and therefore pregnancy does not occur. EllaOne contains ulipristal acetate, which stops the same natural hormone, progesterone, from working as it should. As with Levonelle, it stops or delays the release of the egg and ovulation does not occur.
How the morning after pill works
The emergency contraceptive pill works by stopping the release of the egg. This means that the sperm cannot reach the egg and ovulation can’t take place. However, if ovulation has already occurred, the pill will not be effective. The morning after pill is 98% effective when taken as an emergency contraception as close after sexual intercourse as possible.
When you should use the morning after pill
The morning after pill is most effective when taken immediately after unprotected sex. It becomes less effective as time goes on. Levonelle must be taken within three days, or 72 hours, of unprotected sex. EllaOne must be taken within five days, or 120 hours, after unprotected sex. No emergency contraceptive is 100% effective; however, the pill can be up to 98% effective in preventing pregnancy if taken as soon as possible.
Types of contraceptive pill and how much they cost
There are two morning after pills available in the UK; EllaOne and Levonelle.
EllaOne must be taken within five days, or 120 hours, after having unprotected sex, though is it more effective the sooner it is taken. It works by preventing egg release during the ovulation period. Just as the contraceptive pill prevents the ovaries from releasing the egg, in turn preventing pregnancy, EllaOne works in the same way. It comes as one 30mg dosage. Medicine Direct sells packs of one, two and three tablets. One tablet costs £29.99. The average price for one EllaOne tablet on the UK high street is £35.
Levonelle must be taken within three days, or 72 hours, after having unprotected sex, though is it more effective the sooner it is taken. It works just the same as EllaOne; by preventing egg release during the ovulation period. Levonelle comes as one 1.5mg dosage. Medicine Direct sells packs of one tablet of 1.5mg. The Levonelle Morning after pill cost is £25.00 from Medicine Direct.
Side effects of the morning after pill
The morning after pill side effects are likely to be different for everyone. Some may not experience any at all, but others may experience some of the following:
- Pain in the abdomen
- Increase in breast size
- Abrupt weight loss or weight gain
- Abrupt mood swings
- Disturbed menstrual cycle
In the most severe cases, the effects of morning after pill medication may include:
- Severe pain in the abdomen, leading to water retention
- Breast cancer
- Adversely affect following pregnancies
The morning after pill should not be used in place of your normal contraceptive plan, such as the IUD or the pill. EllaOne can cause negative side effects if taken regularly, as this would be an overdose of the recommended safe amount. Therefore, women are advised to switch to other contraception pills.
Buy morning after pill medication online
You can now buy the morning after pill online and no longer need a face to face consultation with your doctor. If you have had unprotected sex and want to prevent pregnancy by taking the morning after pill, fill out a Medicine Direct health questionnaire here. This will be passed to one of our doctors, who will assess your symptom and prescribe the right course of treatment for you.