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Emergency contraception can be described as a method of birth control that is used in case of unprotected sex or failed birth control methods. This form is also called postcoital contraception and women generally rely on this only during specific situations since this cannot be considered as a regular form of birth control.

When should you use emergency contraception?

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People make mistakes all the time, and one of them is having sex without the right kind of protection. If you do not use a condom while having sex or if you are not on birth control pills, your chances of getting pregnant are very high.

There are also chances of the condom slipping off or breaking during sex or you missing a couple of birth control pills during your monthly cycle. These instances can also drastically increase your chances of getting pregnant. Your best bet to avoid getting pregnant if you face any of these situations is to rely on emergency contraceptive pills.

How does emergency contraception work?

Emergency contraceptive pills usually prevent pregnancy by temporarily blocking the release of eggs, inhibiting fertilization, or preventing a fertilized egg from implanting itself in the uterine wall. Usually, these emergency contraceptive pills are taken in one dose after unprotected sex.

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How effective is emergency contraception?

The effectiveness of an emergency contraceptive tablet depends on how quickly you consume it after unprotected sex. If you take one of these pills soon after having unprotected sex and follow instructions correctly, you have over a 90 percent chance of not getting pregnant. The duration of time following unprotected sex during which you have to take these emergency contraceptive pills depends on the type of contraception you choose.

Some tablets allow you a buffer period of between 72 hours and 120 hours. An intrauterine device (IUD) can also be implanted to prevent unwanted pregnancy. This can inhibit a fertilized egg from implanting itself on the wall of your uterus within seven days after you have had unprotected intercourse and has a 99 percent rate of effectiveness.

Emergency contraceptive pills are available at any local medical stores, colleges, and women's health centers and you can buy most of them without requiring a prescription. There are some side-effects to taking emergency contraceptive pills such as nausea, abdominal pain, and menstrual changes, which is why these pills should be taken in cases of emergency alone. You should also remember that emergency contraceptive pills do not prevent sexually transmitted diseases.

About the author and company

Helen is a fertility advocator on a mission to reach women trying to conceive or searching for a natural family planning solution, and give them a tool to understand their unique ovulation cycle. She is also the CEO of HiLin Life Products, makers of the KNOWHEN Ovulation Test and Fertility Monitor.

Incorporated in 2009, HiLin Life Products was established to help women with problems regarding their fertility, infertility, unplanned pregnancies, and other health issues. With a market of over two billion women all over the world, HiLin Life has been creating next-generation products incorporating a holistic natural approach with scientific accuracy that empowers women's health.

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