If you really don’t want to get pregnant, all is not lost. If you act fast you can use emergency contraception. There are two possibilities, the ‘morning after’ pill or an IUD.
Emergency contraceptive pill
E-pills, morning-after pills or emergency contraception pills, are drugs you can take when you have had unprotected sex and think that you could be pregnant.
You need to take them as soon as possible after the unprotected intercourse, preferable within 24 hours. After that they become less effective.
The e-pill is available over the counter, which means you can go straight to the pharmacy and get it without a doctor's prescription.
There are two types of emergency contraception pills however only one is currently available in India. The available pill is progestogen-only (using the hormone levonorgestrel) generally called Ipill or Unwanted 72. Another form of Emergency Contraception is the
however this needs to be put in by a medical provider. copper IUD
There is no limit as to how many times you can use the emergency-pill in a year. However, the e-pill does have short-term side effects that mean it should not be used as a normal form of contraception, but only in case of emergency.
Pros Helps prevent pregnancy in cases of failed or forgotten contraception, or rape
Gives peace of mind
Easy to get
Cons Can change timing of next period (early or late)
protection STD Needs to be taken as soon as possible after unprotected sex
I-pill / Unwanted 72
The progestogen-only pill makes the mucus around your cervix thicker so the sperm can’t get through. It can also stop ovulation while also releasing a hormone that makes it harder for sperm to travel up towards the egg. You get either two doses of 750mg each that you have to take 12 hours apart, or one dose of 1.5mg.
If taken within 24 hours it is 95% effective. The longer you wait before taking e-pills, the less effective they are. They are most effective if taken between 12 and 24 hours after unprotected sex. If taken later, they can still be effective for 72 hours after intercourse, but then your chances of getting pregnant are higher. If taken between 49-72 hours the pill is only 58% effective.
Progestogen-only pills work less well for women who are overweight. If you have a body mass index (BMI) of more than 25 then it is suggested to use the
as emergency contraception. Copper IUD
Don’t know your BMI? Use the calculator to figure it out:
Progestogen-only pills can even be used several times in one cycle if needed, though should not be used as a normal form of birth control. For more regular forms of birth control check out
Birth Control Methods.