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Emergency Contraceptives

[ Morning After Pill | Intrauterine Device (IUD) | Abortion ]

Morning After Pill


Pills taken with 72 hours (3 days) after unprotected sex or contraceptive failure. There are three brands on the market:

  1. Ovral - Combines estrogen and progestin (hormones found in Oral Contraceptive Pills). Two pills are taken within 72 hours and 2 more are taken 12 hours later.
  2. Danazol - Contains Danocrine, a synthetic steroid, which is also used to treat endometriosis ( a condition in which tissue that normally grows in the uterus begins to grow in the pelvic region). Three tablets are taken within 72 hours and 3 more are taken 12 hours later.
  3. Plan B - Is an emergency contraceptive and does not require a prescription in Canada. Contains only progesterone. One tablet is taken within 72 hours and 1 more is taken 12 hours later.

All brands temporarily disrupt a woman's hormonal pattern, and either prevent fertilization or stop the fertilized egg from implanting. Side-effects are nausea (50-70% of women), and vomiting or headaches for a day or two (10% of women). Danazol has a lower incident of these side-effects, but these side-effects can be reduced by taking anti-nauseant medicine (eg. Gravol).

Reduces the risk of pregnancy by 75%.

A better Morning After Pill is currently being tested. Antiprogestogen Mifepristone, better known as RU-486, is 100% effective and produces no side-effects. This Pill can prevent pregnancies up to 63 days from the last menstrual period. Currently only licensed in Britain, China, France and Sweden.

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