Alternatives to the Morning After Pill


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Emergency IUD / The Coil

You can opt to have a coil inserted up to 5 days after unprotected sex in order to prevent an unwanted pregnancy, although alike to the morning after pill the sooner this is done the better.  This option is less readily used, being more invasive than simply taking a pill. 

Advantages of using Emergency IUD / The Coil

  • You continue to be protected when having sex, the coil being an effective form of contraception.
  • The coil can be inserted up to 5 days after the unprotected sex has taken place and may still prove effective
  • A coil is not known to react with any other medications so can be inserted despite any previous medical conditions or treatments

Disadvantages of using Emergency IUD / The Coil

  • There aren’t as many doctors or other professionals trained to fit a coil, and so it might be hard to find someone at such short notice
  • You will have to go on a course of antibiotics in order to prevent any infection within the womb
  • It won’t prevent ectopic pregnancies from developing
  • You can’t have a coil fitted if you have a sexually transmitted disease, (STD) or have very heavy or irregular periods. 
  • If, despite having an IUD fitted, you do become pregnant the coil can affect the pregnancy and lead to a miscarriage or an ectopic pregnancy. 

Your medical advisor can help you determine if an IUD has moved and what to do about it, usually you can simply put it back into position by a doctor or nurse.  Having a coil fitted is a lot more invasive than simply taking a pill, however it is worth remembering that it will continue to act as a very effective form of contraceptive for anything up to ten years after it has been fitted. 

Contraception

If you are sexually active then you ought to be using a regular form of contraception so that there is no need to use the morning after pill or the emergency coil.  These can take many forms, although the most frequently used are the combined oral pill or condoms.  These are not 100% reliable, however they offer you a high chance of protection against an unwanted pregnancy. Things that can go wrong include a condom splitting in which case you will be advised to take the morning after pill. 

You can get contraception advice from your GP or from a family planning clinic.  They will be able to inform you as to the best options for you, and can also provide you with the contraceptive then and there.  This is a free service, and something that you ought to take advantage of. 


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