Morning After Pill

In December 2003, the FDA recommended making the pill, also known as “morning-after” emergency birth control pill, available for customers over the counter. The pill should be taken within 72 hours after an unprotected sex with taking a second dose in 12 hours. The effects of this birth control pill are based on the activities of a high dose of the hormone progestin (some types of morning after pills contain levonorgestrel), which help to avoid fertilization by not allowing the overies release egg or preventing sperm from reaching the egg. Morning after pills have been  known among medical experts for the last two decades. But for many years, a lot of women in the United States remained unaware and misinformed about their use.

The “morning-after pill” or PCP (post-coitus pill) is effective when a woman had an act of unprotected sex or when a contraceptive method fails. If the condom broke, or the birth control pills were not taken in time, or, worse, a woman was raped; emergency contraception offers an essential alternative to the prospects of abortion or motherhood. It also can be used when a woman who takes the pill has had a tummy upset and is hesitated if she may have ‘missed’ her pill and its effectiveness against pregnancy. It’s a secure and quite affordable treatment a woman can use anywhere. The PCP has also important value in cases of rape. Any woman who was raped should be offered such a pill as soon as possible. Tests showed that the pill prevents pregnancy 75 percent of the time if taken within 72 hours after sexual intercourse.

Supporters say that there is no evidence that morning-after birth control will lead a woman into carelessness about regular birth control or sexually transmitted diseases or cause more sexual activity in general. They say that wider use of the pills could considerably decrease the nation’s 3 million unintended pregnancies each year and prevent thousands of possible abortions this way. One of the most misunderstood features includes the difference between the morning-after pill and the abortion pill. Too often the pills are confused, despite the fact that their mechanisms are basically different: emergency contraception prevents a pregnancy before it occurs, often by inhibiting ovulation; it doesn’t terminate a pregnancy, like abortion pills does. Though no fundamental testing has been done to confirm the safety of these birth control pills for women, the Food and Drug Administration has approved the marketing and public sale of “morning after pills” in September 1998.

The morning-after pill is a very common way of emergency contraception, and it has become very popular since being made available over the counter in Britain in 2001. But the statistic of abortion and undesirable pregnancies even increased, especially for the cases of teenage pregnancy. For safeness and effectiveness women have to be properly informed about the terms of usage, and also understand the risks and responsibility. The FDA’s scientific advisers call morning-after pills a very secure and important way to decrease the amount of abortions. The number of women visiting the pharmacists to buy emergency contraception pills appears to be growing, according to annual provincial statistics. Already in five states women can get the “morning-after pill” directly from definite pharmacists without the necessity of doctor’s prescriptions, and proponents say as the pills are being displayed on pharmacy shelves the access will be increased even more.

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