Emergency contraceptive pills (ECPs), sometimes called “morning after pills” are a highly misunderstood method of birth control. There are a lot of myths floating around the internet (and in general) that need to be cleared up. It’s vital to have this information because there are numerous situations that a woman might find herself in that would call for an an ECP. Here are some common myths, debunked.
ECPs are in limited supply and not easy to obtain.
There are actually many types of ECPs. Some examples of the most common type (the levonorgestrel-only-pill) are Plan B, Take Action, My Way and Next Choice One-Dose. You can buy them at your local drugstore, grocery store or online, over-the-counter and without any age restriction. There are some that require prescriptions, too, such as ella. Just ask your doctor. It’s also possible to be seen very quickly if you seek help at most walk-in/urgent care facilities.
Taking an ECP is equal to having an abortion.
ECPs are not the same thing as medication abortion pills. A lot of people seem to think they are, so it’s important that the difference is made clear. ECPs delay ovulation and prevent pregnancy. There is not an effect on an existing pregnancy from the pills with levonorgestrel such as Next Choice and Plan B One-Step. The pills don’t work if a woman has already ovulated.
Taking an ECP will keep you protected for a while.
It’s crucial to remember that ECPs protect against one instance of unprotected sex. Having unprotected sex again will greatly increase your chances of getting pregnant. ECPs are meant to block ovulation for a few days, nothing more.
You shouldn’t bother taking an ECP if you just drank alcohol or took drugs.
If you went out and partied like crazy, an ECP is still going to be effective. Sure, taking drugs and boozing might not be in your best interest for other reasons, but the benefits of taking an ECP are greater than the risks, for the most part.
Taking ECPS will interfere with fertility.
There isn’t any evidence that this is true. What would be more worth consideration is the effectiveness of an ECP to prevent pregnancy in general. ECPs are less effective than other types of birth control such as the pill, ring, patch or IUD. It’s a good idea to have a discussion with your doctor about your different options. Hopefully some of the above information will give you a decent head start!