Posted: April 28, 2015 Contributor: PRJKT RUBY
Dispelling 5 Myths About the Morning After Pill
Myths often stem from misunderstanding and the morning after pill is no exception. It’s very possible that you may have heard one or all of these emergency contraception myths.
Now is the time to set the record straight!
Myth #1: The morning after pill is the same as an abortion.
Fact: This myth is derived from confusion regarding the medication used for a medical abortion and that used for emergency contraception. These are two entirely different medications.
Morning after pills (like ella and Plan B) contain hormones that work in several ways to prevent the egg and sperm from joining (not aborting a pregnancy which is already occurring).
Commonly, ovulation is prevented and without an egg there can be no pregnancy. Sperm can actually live in the fallopian tubes for days but without an egg present, the sperm will eventually disappear and no pregnancy can occur.
Myth #2: Taking EC today will protect me against pregnancy during unprotected sex tomorrow.
Fact: Women often think that just because emergency contraception (like ella) is effective for 5 days that they can continue having unprotected sex during that time period. Unfortunately, this myth can lead to a higher risk of pregnancy.
EC stops ovulation for just a few days and as previously mentioned, sperm can live in the body for days waiting around for an egg to be released. For this reason, the morning after pill should only be taken after one act of unprotected sex (or contraceptive failure). Any additional acts can increase the risk for pregnancy to occur.
Myth #3: EC is embarrassing and difficult to buy.
Fact: Gone are the days of embarrassing lectures and dirty looks. Buying emergency contraceptives is much easier now than ever before. If you need EC, you can buy the over-the-counter medication (Plan B or Next Choice) within 3 days of unprotected sex. It does lose effectiveness each hour that passes however. For this reason, many women are now choosing ella. Ella is effective for 5 days and is just as effective the hour after the incident as it is the final hour of the 5th day.
As far as the embarrassment factor goes, ella can be prescribed by a licensed physician online and shipped overnight to your home discretely.
Myth #4: Only people who have had unprotected sex can take the morning after pill.
Fact: While unprotected sex is certainly a suitable reason for taking emergency contraception, it’s not the ONLY reason. Occasionally other birth control methods may fail – condoms might break or several days of birth control are forgotten. In these higher risk cases, it’s wise to use a back up method. That’s where the morning after pill comes in.
Myth #5: My fertility may be forever impacted as a result of using the morning after pill.
Fact: There have been no findings of any lasting side effects associated with emergency contraceptives. Just as birth control pills only prevent pregnancy while they are being taken regularly, EC is a short-term method of preventing pregnancy. When/if you decide to start a family, your fertility will not be impacted.