Emergency Contraceptive

Emergency contraceptives are often called the morning after pill. They were invented for exactly that, the morning after the night before when something didn’t quite go to plan. Accidents happen in all walks of life and sex is no different. They can offer you a second chance to prevent pregnancy after having had unprotected sex.

How to use it?

An emergency pill typically contains hormones that are similar to oral contraceptives, but at a higher dose. It works mainly by stopping or delaying the ovaries from releasing an egg. It may also work by changing the lining of the womb that may prevent implantation of a fertilized egg. For the best chance for it to work, you should take the emergency pill as soon as possible after unprotected sex. Ideally, you should take it within 120 hours (5 days) after unprotected sex, but the earlier the better.

After using emergency contraception you should use another form of contraception for the rest of your cycle to protect yourself if you do not want to become pregnant. Emergency Contraceptives are NOT meant to be used for ongoing contraception, in place of a regular method.

Emergency contraceptives are not like other contraception methods. Emergency contraception is a back-up method for emergencies such as that one time the condom broke, when you forgot to take the pill or when your regular family planning method is unavailable and you have unprotected sex.

Emergency contraceptives are sold in all Pharmacies and Chemical shops in Ghana. Speak to your Pharmacist whenever you are in need of an emergency contraceptive. Remember that having unprotected sex because your condom broke exposes you to STI’s. Seek treatment at any health center, hospital or clinic in Ghana. You can also contact the Lydia Contact Centre for directions on what to do or where to go.

Questions? Ask the Lydia Contact Centre

Pros and Cons

  • Pros

    • It helps prevent pregnancy after birth control failure or unprotected sex
    • Most effective only when used within 24 hours after unprotected sex

  • Cons

    • It contains a high dose of hormones in one pill
    • Using it repeatedly can interrupt the natural menstrual cycle
    • It may cause headache, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, menstrual pain, tiredness, dizziness, fatigue
    • Does not protect against HIV infection (AIDS) and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs)