Postinor 2 tablets

How Safe is my Postinor – Emergency Contraceptive?

Are emergency contraceptives safe to use? 

One of the scariest news anyone who is not ready to have a baby but is involved in an unprotected sex can be bombarded with is, I am Pregnant? To prevent this “bad news” many ladies depend on emergency contraceptive pills popularly known as morning-after pills as their dependable “lawyers”.

There are several brands of emergency contraceptive pills on the Ghanaian market. Notable among them are Lydia, Levon 2, and Postinor 2. 

Emergency contraceptive pills are made up of hormones that prevent or delay the release of an egg. This means although the ejaculated sperms will be swimming around, there will be no eggs to fertilize and hence no pregnancy. However sadly, these pills do not prevent all pregnancies (98% effective) and they in no way prevent sexually transmitted infections (STIs).

Compared to other birth control methods like condoms, IUDs etc. they are not very reliable. Many researches have shown that it is usually effective even after 5 days of having sex but for maximum benefits, it is recommended that you take it as soon as possible.

Emergency contraceptives, though quite dependable, are plagued with lots of myths and misconceptions. We will now look at some of them.

Firstly, we often hear that emergency contraceptive pills can cause infertility, and other side effects. Arguably, like any drug, there are some common side effects which are to be expected: nausea, vomiting, headaches, dizziness and abdominal cramps, spotting in between periods.

However, no studies point to infertility and other major scary effects such as cancer. They can however disturb the normal menstrual cycle by making a usual 28-day cycle either extended or shortened by some days. 

Again, there is also the question of frequency of use. The manufacturers usually recommend that you use emergency contraceptive pills only once every menstrual cycle. However, according to the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology (ACOG), you can use them more than once during a particular cycle to achieve the benefits.

Nevertheless, as their name implies, they are supposed to be used in emergency situations only, and not as a long-term option for preventing pregnancy as insisted on by the ACOG and manufacturers. 

So, if you realize you are using them more than once a month, it is time to reconsider the vast pool of more reliable and effective birth control methods like the IUDs, condoms and implants etc. There are several reasons for reducing the frequency of use with cost being a major driving factor.

Notwithstanding, since these drugs are made up of hormones, exposing yourself to higher levels of hormones can lead to more frequent and disturbing side effects as already stated.

In conclusion, remember that even though emergency contraceptive pills are safe to use, you may experience some side effects. As much as possible reduce their usage frequency to one a menstrual cycle and if you realize your sex life would require you to take more, change to other effective family planning methods .

WRITTEN AND EDITED RESPECTIVELY BY:

Prince George Acquah
Pharm D Candidate at Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Tachnology

Prince George Acquah Jnr. is an award-winning poet and the CEO of NALANOM INC. He is also a PharmD final year student, Music lover, Chelsea fan, Dreamer, Academic, and the Author of the anthology, 24 and Gnashing.

Noah Amoo
Editor

Noah Amoo is currently a Ph.D. Education candidate at the University of Hull in the United Kingdom with a research interest in Digital Technologies. He has a Masters degree in Education and Leadership from the University of Hull, a Professional Diploma in Software Engineering from IPMC- Ghana, and a Bachelors Degree in Publishing Studies from KNUST- Ghana.

Noah has a good interest in editing and translating books and videos into English and Asante Twi. In addition, he has volunteered in teaching English Language, Mathematics, and ICT in many basic and secondary schools in Ghana.

His hobbies are playing the piano, shopping, exercising, and reading.

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