If you have had unprotected intercourse, and are certain that you do not want to be pregnant, you may want to consider using Emergency Contraceptive Pills (ECPs).
When you have sex without any birth control your risk of becoming pregnant depends on where you are in your menstrual cycle. During your most fertile days, midway between two menstrual periods, the risk could be as high as 30%.
If you use ECPs, your chance of becoming pregnant is reduced by about 75%. For example, a 30% risk would be reduced to no more than 8%.
ECPs must be taken as soon as possible, for sure no later than 120 hours after unprotected sex.
Treatment of ECPs consists of two doses of hormone pills, with the first dose taken as soon as possible after unprotected intercourse. The hormones are estrogen and progestin, which are contained in regular birth control pills.
ECPs provide a short, strong burst of hormone exposure. This disrupts hormone patterns that are essential for pregnancy. Hormone release for the ovary is reduced, and development of the uterine lining is disturbed. These disruptions are temporary, lasting only a few days.
If you are interested in taking ECPs, they are available at your local pharmacy. If you have any questions regarding the use of ECPs, we would be happy to discuss them, please call our office.