Emergency contraception: what you need to know to make the right choice

In our country each year are purchased around 2.5 million packages of emergency contraception. However, the knowledge on the subject lag far behind consumption. Information can be found on the Internet, mostly, been descriptive in nature. She gives answers to several important questions. In this article we will try to answer most of them.

Hormonal and non-hormonal means: what is the difference

Until recently, for the prevention of unwanted pregnancy was used only hormonal emergency contraceptives. Drugs had different trade names, but consisted of the same active substance — the hormone levonorgestrel. His dose was 1.5 mg, only in some preparations, it was divided into 2 tablets in the other were contained in a single. The principle of action of drugs was based on the fact that a large dose of hormone that was in excess of 150 times the amount contained in products for routine contraception (combined oral contraceptives), temporarily impair the operation of those parts of the brain that are responsible for regulation of the reproductive organs (uterus, fallopian tubes and ovaries). This occurs due to the suppression of ovulation, if it hasn’t happened yet, or change the inner lining of the uterus (endometrium), if it has already taken place. In essence, use of these drugs is a hormonal shock to the body, and thereby provided the contraceptive effect.

Recently, however, appeared non-hormonal means which have a fundamentally different mechanism of action. They temporarily block specific receptors in the relevant organs — the ovaries, uterus, fallopian tubes. Due to this slows the maturation of follicles, ovulation is inhibited (average 4 days) and changes the structure of the endometrium (the inner uterine wall). Due to this effect the likelihood of unintended pregnancy are also dramatically reduced. While these funds do not affect centers of the brain and the body does not experience such hormonal shock. But these different groups of drugs have some common features. So, they are only used after unprotected contact and effective within 72 hours after it.

What factors must be considered when selecting

The effectiveness of all emergency contraceptives are not permanent. It depends on many factors, but that dependence for different drugs are not the same. When choosing a drug it is necessary to consider parameters such as body weight women, phase of menstrual cycle, the time elapsed since unprotected contact. For example, if you overweight the efficacy of hormonal drugs is reduced in 2 times, and not hormonal changes. Obesity reliability of those and other funds drops have hormones in 4.5 times, nagorono — 2.5 times.

How often we can use drugs to prevent unwanted pregnancy

The basic principle for any emergency contraception pill — the fewer, the better. In any case, these drugs can be used during every unprotected contact and use them to replace routine contraception. In the instructions to some of the drugs indicates that it is not recommended to use them monthly, others twice a month.

How to understand that the product has worked

Some women mistakenly believe that spotting after taking certain drugs are proof that the drug worked. However, this opinion is totally wrong. Bleeding is a complication and are classified as menstrual disorders. Taking the drug with good tolerability and minimal side effects should not be reflected on women’s health. Any subjective feelings such as nausea, vomiting, headache, acyclic bleeding, lower abdominal pain, menstrual irregularities, breast engorgement, are side effects, but not proof of the reliability of the selected funds.

Side effects and complications when taking

About side effects already discussed in the previous paragraph, so we should stay on the complications. One of the most frequent complications of the menstrual cycle. In most cases, the menstrual cycle is restored independently and does not require additional medication adjustments. However, there are situations that require additional therapy. For example, the use of oral contraceptives within 2 — 3 months. We should not forget that combined oral contraceptives have rebound effect, that is, when they cancel the chance of pregnancy increases. Therefore, the use of routine contraception as important.

Another serious complication is an ectopic pregnancy. Such probability exists without the use of any drugs for emergency contraception. However, hormone treatment has slowed the advance of the fertilized egg through the fallopian tubes and hormonal, on the contrary, speed up. Due to this, the likelihood of tubal (ectopic) pregnancy when using more modern non-hormonal preparations in 2 times lower.

What else needs to be taken into account when

We should not forget about drug interactions. Some drugs can reduce the effectiveness of emergency contraception. Therefore, before applying should carefully read the instructions for use of purchased drug.

There are times when there is a need for drugs to prevent unwanted pregnancy in women who at this time breastfeeding. Because drugs are able to penetrate into breast milk, breast-feeding after receiving the funds will have to be interrupted for some time.

In any case, it would be useful to obtain complete information on this issue, to be sure of the correct choice.

Emergency contraception: what you need to know to make the right choice

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