What to Know Before Taking the Morning After Pill
Things happened without protection. There's a pill you can take to prevent bad things from happening. Here's what you need to know before taking the morning after pill.
Whether we like it or not, unprotected sex happens — and it often happens when parties involved are not ready to have a baby.
Though it used to boil down to being lucky enough to having sex on the right day or just having a lot of luck, there are now ways to ensure that you can avoid pregnancy using modern technology. And, they are readily available to you. You can thank feminism for this!
While you can also get emergency contraception via IUDs, the most common way to get emergency pregnancy prevention is from the morning after pill. These pills are available at any pharmacy, are affordable, and also have the added bonus of being able to be usable up to 5 days after unprotected sex.
Before you pop that pill, it's important for you to understand a couple of things about the pill. Here's what you need to know before taking the morning after pill...
Contrary to right wing extremist propaganda, the morning after pill is not an abortion.
One of the most important things you need to know before taking the morning after pill is the difference between it and an abortion pill. The morning after pill prevents pregnancy and fertilization from happening. The abortion pill kills the fetus inside before it's born, and is taken after you get pregnant.
If you're already pregnant, the morning after pill can't do anything to harm the fetus or zygote. No pregnancy means that it's not an abortion — it's just birth control.
Next, it's important to know that it's not always effective and that time is an issue.
Time really matters when taking the morning after pill, as it can only prevent pregnancy if sperm didn't get to the egg yet. Within 72 hours, the morning after pill can be as much as 75 to 90 percent effective.
However, the longer you wait, the more its efficacy dips down. So, within 5 days, the chances of it working can be well below 30 percent in some cases.
Obviously, if you got fertilized before you took the pill, taking a morning after pill may still work to prevent the fertilized egg from implanting and becoming a full pregnancy. However, this doesn't always happen, either.
You might feel some side effects, but that's normal and they subside fairly quickly.
Despite all the stigma around the morning after pill, it's actually a very safe drug to take. That being said, there are some side effects that many women may experience when they take the pill. Not all women experience side effects, but those that do will not see them last for too long — and they're rarely ever seriously uncomfortable.
These side effects can include:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Tender breasts
- Irregular menstruation for a month
- Heavier menstruation the next period they get
- Feeling crampy for a day after the pill is taken
Once again, these side effects subside rapidly — and this doesn't mean that anything is wrong. It's part of what to know before taking the morning after pill, simply because you should be aware of the side effects before they happen.
It's your right to get the morning after pill.
There have been many cases in which pharmacies that had extreme right wing individuals in them refuse to dole out morning after pills to those who requested them. This is not ethical, and technically, it's not legal. In many cases, it's a form of discrimination.
It's an OTC, non-prescription pill. This means that you don't need permission from anyone to get it.
This is what to know before taking the morning after pill: you have a right to it. If the pharmacists shame you, refuse to disburse it, or otherwise refuse service, you have the right to call corporate and discuss it with management. You have the right to request they be fired, and if you feel that they seriously crossed a line, you have the right to a lawyer.
Do not let them take away your right to something you deserve to be able to buy. Give them hell. Let them feel the consequences of being bigoted, misogynistic, and otherwise controlling individuals.