Morning After Pill
If you had sex last night or the night before and did not use any form of birth control, you may be panicking. You might be considering a “morning after pill” (MAP) such as Plan B or Plan B One Step, just in case. If you are 17 or older, you don’t need a prescription for the MAP. However, before you run to your local pharmacy, there are two things you need to do:
First, you need a high quality pregnancy test to make sure that you are not already pregnant. Tests bought at the drug store or dollar store are not necessarily going to give you an accurate result. We can give you a free high-quality pregnancy test with immediate results. Just call to make a same day appointment.
Second, you need to determine the likelihood of getting pregnant at this time in your fertility cycle. This is important, because the MAP, which contains a very high dose of the hormone progestin, has some short-term and perhaps long-term side effects like nausea, dizziness, breast tenderness, headache, fatigue, abdominal pain, heavy bleeding and irregular periods in the future. There is no point in suffering these side effects if you had sex at an infertile time in your cycle when pregnancy would be unlikely to occur. We can help you to determine the probability that you got pregnant at a particular time in your cycle. Just call for a free consultation.
It’s also important to know that the MAP has a failure rate of between 20 and 25 percent and that it can only be used for 72 hours from the time of unprotected intercourse.
Another form of “emergency contraception” is the pill called “ella” (ulipristal acetate) which can be used up to five days after unprotected intercourse. Because it is a more potent drug, you need a prescription for it. The side effects are similar to the MAP, but its effectiveness can be lower if used 4 or 5 days after unprotected intercourse.
For more information about the morning after pill and whether it is a good choice for you, please call us for a free consultation at (708)352-5000.