If you are unable to locate Plan B or another technique right away, learn how to use additional birth control pills for emergency contraception.
Following unprotected intercourse, you can immediately utilize existing birth control pills as emergency contraception (EC) without risk, according to a number of reproductive health professionals.
According to Michele Bosworth, MD who coauthored an article about the procedure published in 2014 in the journal American Family Physician while working for the department of family medicine at the University of Texas Health Science Center, the Yuzpe method involves taking two doses (pills) of a combination estrogen and progestin oral contraceptive, 12 hours apart. This is a practical way for people to use medications they already own, she explains.
According to Sarah Diemert, a nurse practitioner and the director of medical standards, integration, and evaluation for the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, both doses of the pills should be taken as soon as possible, ideally within 72 hours (three days) of unprotected sex and no later than 120 hours (5 days) after unprotected sex.
Lower Your Chances of an Unplanned Pregnancy
According to Diemert, “emergency contraceptive tablets function by postponing or inhibiting ovulation.” “After unprotected sex, using emergency contraception appropriately reduces the risk of becoming pregnant.”
The Yuzpe method of combination oral contraceptives for emergency contraception lowers the risk of pregnancy by about 74% if started within 72 hours of unprotected intercourse, according to Diemert, even though no contraceptive method can guarantee 100% pregnancy prevention. She advises utilizing an alternative method of birth control for seven days following the use of emergency contraception for added security.
Yuzpe Works Only With Certain Brands of the Pill
The Yuzpe technique only permits the use of certain birth control pills with predetermined amounts of both progestin and estrogen. To learn how to use your particular brand of birth control pill as an emergency contraceptive, look it up online.
This method of birth control pill use may have negative effects. They may involve vomiting and nausea. Repeat the dose if you vomit within two hours of taking a pill, advises Diemert. Breast soreness, exhaustion, irregular bleeding, abdominal pain, headaches, and dizziness are possible additional adverse effects. She claims that one or two days after taking the medication, these side effects normally subside.
The Yuzpe approach might not be as beneficial in those who are overweight or obese, according to Dr. Bosworth, despite the paucity of studies in this area.
If a woman is already pregnant, emergency contraception will not function and won’t cause harm to the pregnancy.
You will know you are not pregnant if your period comes as predicted throughout your regular menstrual cycle. Follow standard procedures for taking a pregnancy test if it is established that your period is late, advises Bosworth, if your period is delayed. HCG, which is only created when a fertilized egg adheres to the lining of the uterus and is known as implantation, is the hormone that pregnancy tests look for.
Other early pregnancy symptoms besides a missing period include nausea, exhaustion, painful or swollen breasts, headaches, and frequent urination. Take a pregnancy test as soon as you notice these symptoms.
Make sure you continue to use your birth control properly if you want to continue using it as continuing contraception. According to Bosworth, once you have taken extra pills for emergency contraception, discuss the following with your healthcare provider:
- Acquire enough of your needed birth control pills for ongoing contraception.
- Determine if you need testing for a sexually transmitted infection.
- Talk about whether your current contraception choice is the right one for you. Is it easy to use regularly?
- Ensure you are safe if you were involved in nonconsensual sex.
According to Diemert, taking any kind of emergency contraception is still preferable to using nothing at all if you are unable to obtain the most effective kind. Furthermore, timing is crucial because emergency contraception can only be used for up to five days following unprotected intercourse, and the earlier the better.
Overall, using birth control regularly is more successful than relying on emergency contraception, which is never the primary means of pregnancy prevention and should never be considered a last resort.