The Morning-After Pill
Emergency Contraception

Pharmaceutical Names: Preven, Lo Ovral

The key word here is "emergency." An unplanned pregnancy doesn't just happen. It is the result of two people failing to take the responsibility to protect themselves using a condom and some other form of protection. Using condoms and spermicidal foam is a lot less expensive, more practical and more effective than the morning after pill.

If you do use birth control other than the pill, and it noticeably fails, (as in a broken condom, a condom that slipped off, a dislodged diaphragm, etc.) it is time to think about the morning after pill. Contrary to common thought, it is possible for girls to get pregnant at any time of the month. This is especially true for teenage girls, because their menstrual cycles aren't well established, making it difficult to pinpoint ovulation. Like most things it's better to be safe than sorry. If you are not prepared to take care of a child for the next 19 years, or if you're unwilling to go through a pregnancy and delivery to put a baby up for adoption, you need to think about taking the morning after pill. It's a series of 5 pills, the first of which is taken within 72 hours of having sex. The pills may stop the sperm from fertilizing the egg. If this doesn't occur, the pills will probably prevent the implantation of the fertilized egg in the uterine wall. Technically, a woman is not pregnant until implantation occurs, so this pill helps to prevent pregnancy. If you take the first dose within 72 hours of having sex and take the other dose as instructed, the morning after pill has a 70% to 80% effectiveness against pregnancy.

The morning after pill is a much more widely accepted and less controversial alternative than having an abortion whether the abortion is surgical or through a pill. The abortion pill RU-486 does not prevent pregnancy. It acts after the fertilized egg has implanted into the uterine wall, and after the embryo has begun to develop. The abortion pill forces your body to flush out the embryo and the uterine wall it's embedded in. By contrast, the morning after pill acts earlier possibly preventing fertilization and/or implantation, allowing an egg to flow out of the body during a more normal period. Some women have reported that the flow caused by the abortion pill was "more than a period" and was produced very sharp stabbing pains. So the morning after pill is both more widely accepted morally and is less intrusive on a woman's body, than the abortion pill, RU-486.

Side effects of the morning after pill may include nausea, vomiting, breast sensitivity, irregular bleeding, headaches, dizziness, and your next period may be early, late, lighter or heavier than normal. Taking the pill with food will probably help avoid any side effects. If you have a known tendency to get queezy easily, you should take each dose of the pill with food, and take an over the counter drug such as Dramamine one hour before each dose to prevent nausea. The morning after pill will cost a minimum of around $40 to get a prescription written or called into a local pharmacy, and another $25 to $35 to pay for the drugs. That's a total of $65 to $75 to acquire the morning after pill as opposed to $150,000 to raise a child. You can even avoid the time it takes to visit a clinic by calling Planned Parenthood and having them call in a prescription to the nearest pharmacy! That's 1-866-222-3248. listen to the warnings, talk to a professional, give them your credit card number, and go pick up your prescription. It's that easy!

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Related Info

To find your nearest provider and more information visit: http://ec.princeton.edu/providers/index.html

Planned Parenthood:
Clinics providing the morning after pill in addition to abortions, birth control, and pregnancy checkups
www.plannedparenthood.org
For the nearest P.P. clinic call 1-800-230-PLAN
To have them call in a prescription to the nearest pharmacy for the morning after pill, call 1-866-222-3248. listen to the warnings, talk to a professional, give them your credit card number, and go pick up your prescription.