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World Contraception Day

Debunking the myths - today, the Emergency Contraceptive Pill.

Thursday, September 27, 2018

Feature

You’ve heard all the myths – You’ve been probably told about your neighbour’s daughter-in-law’s sister’s mother who had an IUD that travelled to their lungs and killed them, or that Uncle’s daughter’s third cousin who had a Jadelle implant that picked up a radio frequency and started controlling her mind. The reality is far more boring. Family Planning is here to dispel the myths are contraception. Here’s the fourth – The ECP!

The ECP is taken after unprotected sex to prevent pregnancy. It stops or delays the release of an egg from your ovaries until sperm isn't active in your body any more. It prevents the sperm from fertilising an egg by changing the way the sperm moves in your body. It doesn’t work once the egg has been fertilised.

The ECP causes abortion

There is a pill that induces abortion, but the morning after pill (ECP) is something entirely different.

The ECP simply prevents or delays ovulation. If you are already pregnant it will have no
impact on the foetus.  It cannot harm you or a developing embryo.

Emergency Contraception is only for the morning after

The best time to take the ECP is directly after unprotected sex. The emergency contraceptive pill can be used up to three days (72 hours) after unprotected sex but is more effective the sooner it is taken.

Using Emergency Contraceptive Pills more than once is bad for you

Wrong. There are no risks to repeated use of the ECP and it won’t impact your fertility - however the ECP is not as effective as regular or long-term contraception. It’s for that reason that its frequent use is not recommended. It’s better to use regular contraception

Pharmacists can grill you about why you need The ECP

Pharmacists should only ask you questions to help them ascertain if it’s safe for you to take the ECP and whether it will work for you. These questions would include asking what your usual method of contraception is, why you need emergency contraception and how much time has passed since you had unprotected sex.

They will likely also ask you what type of medications you are currently taking.

ECP will make you infertile

There is no evidence that the ECP impacts your fertility.

The ECP protects you from future pregnancies

Absolutely not! An ECP does not give you any ongoing protection against pregnancy. It is only for unprotected sexual intercourse in the last 72 hours. You may be more likely to get pregnant the week after taking an ECP unless you use a contraceptive.

Choosing contraception is a personal decision. Used properly IUDs are far more effective than the emergency contraceptive pill. They are 45 times more effective that the combined oral contraceptive pill and 90 times more effective than male condoms, according to the Guttmacher Institute.

Your decision to choose contraception that works for you should be based on facts– your local Family Planning nurse is happy to talk to you about your options. Just get in touch.

 

 

Family Planning has clinics located throughout New Zealand. Use the clinic finder to find your nearest clinic.

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