Unwanted 21 Days

Is It Better To Switch To Regular Contraceptives From Emergency Contraceptives – A Case In Point

Most women are unaware of the differences between emergency pills and regular birth control pills. Here, in today’s guide, we explain both these pills, so that you can know when to use which.

Very often, women have this question, “Why should I switch to regular birth control pills, when emergency contraceptives work just fine?”

Here, in this article, we aim to address this query, while providing you with complete information on why birth control pills are better in the long run.

Understanding the Emergency Contraceptive Pill

Also popularly called as the morning after pill or day after pill, this is an emergency contraception method to use when things happen unplanned. It has to be taken within five days or less (depending on the brand) of having unprotected sex.

How does it work

The effect of the emergency pill varies based on where a woman is in her menstrual cycle. When taken during the first few days of the cycle, the pill prevents the follicle from maturing; thereby there is no egg for the sperm to fertilise.

When taken later, the pill prevents ovulation; hence, even though the ovum is mature, it doesn’t release. This prevents fertilisation. However, remember that emergency contraceptive pills are not abortion pills. It only prevents pregnancies but doesn’t get rid of existing pregnancies.

When to take the Emergency Contraceptive Pill

  • You had unprotected sex
  • The condom broke during sex
  • Expulsion of the IUD (Intra-Uterine Device) during coitus
  • You had sex, while you were off regular birth control pills
  • I was carried away, that contraception didn’t enter my mind

Understanding the Regular Birth Control Pills

Also known as Birth Control Pills, this is a safe contraception method used by partners who wish to delay their pregnancy and indulge in physical relation without worrying about pregnancy. These pills are designed for long-term use to help partners in family planning.

How Do they Work?

Regular Birth control pills are usually made of two elements; Levonorgestrel and Ethinyloestradiol. Levonorgestrel helps in the production of progestin hormone whereas Ethinyloestradiol leads to increased Estrogen levels. Firstly, it prevents male sperm from entering the uterus and secondly, it stops ovulation. Different brands have different dosages. However, most brands require you to start taking the pill from the 1st day of the menses. However, it is best advised to consult a gynaecologist to get a better understanding of the dosage and usage instructions.

When to take the Regular Contraceptive Pill

  • You maintain a sexual relationship with your partner
  • You wish to delay pregnancy
  • You don’t want to rely on using condoms with your partner

What are Emergency Contraceptives Ideal For?

As the very name implies, emergency contraceptives are to be taken only during emergencies. They are to be used when your regular contraceptive method fails or as a backup plan when you cannot get access to regular contraception.

While emergency contraceptives offer some benefits, they are not advised to be taken regularly for long durations. For that, there are regular birth control pills.

What are Regular Birth Control Pills Ideal For?

Regular birth control pills are effective if you wish to use this form of contraceptive for a long-term. They offer enhanced safety for longer durations. Moreover, they give you peace of mind. Regular contraceptives such as birth control pills are a better option, especially for long-term use.

Which One is Better?

The answer to this question depends on what you are looking for. If you had unprotected sex or the condom did not work, then you can take the emergency pill to prevent pregnancy. On the other hand, if you are doing family planning with your partner and wish to delay pregnancy, then regular contraceptive pills are a better choice.

How Often is Too Much

Remember that emergency pills are for one-off use and if you are planning to switch to other regular contraceptives like birth control pills, then it’s time to consult your GP to discuss other regular contraception methods.

What’s the Alternative?

As already mentioned above, a great alternative to the emergency pill is the regular birth control pill. They are safer and can be taken for longer periods. If you still have questions, get in touch with your doctor to choose the best birth control pills that are suitable for you.


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