When an impending birth takes place when it is least expected it is often called an unintended pregnancy. There are a number of instances in which an unintended pregnancy can occur. For starters there are those instances of "slip ups" between consenting couples in which their condom breaks or the Pill, the Patch, Depo, or their chosen method of contraception fails. And then there are other instances in which an unintended pregnancy can take place. Survivors of brutal rapes, women who have found themselves lured into sex during a drugging or intoxication, or young women who engage in unprotected sex are all at risk for an unintended pregnancy. With unintended pregnancy, the emotional and financial security that often accompanies well thought out conception is absent. Ten years ago, the threat of an unplanned pregnancy was one that women and couples just had to live with, but not anymore. In today's world, emergency contraception, infamously known to Americans as the Morning-After-Pill, is giving unintended pregnancy a run for it's money.
So, What's The Morning After Pill?
In 1998, the United States Food and Drug Administration approved emergency contraception for sale in the United States. In the years since, the Morning-After-Pill has been routinely offered up for retail behind numerous American pharmacy counters, like Walgreens, Rite-Aid, and KMart, with a prescription of course. In 2006, the FDA decided that emergency contraception could be of benefit to people facing unintended pregnancies without a prescription - a decision that was met with a fiery storm of controversy. But what is the Morning-After-Pill?
Emergency contraception is a concoction made up of high dosages of birth control pills, it's goal is to prevent pregnancy. In an effort to achieve it's goal of stalling sperm to egg conception (ie: an unintended pregnancy), the Morning-After-Pill is recommended to be taken seventy-two hours following an encounter of unprotected sex, no matter how that unprotected encounter took place. Emergency contraception is starchly different for RU-486, otherwise known as the "abortion pill." While RU-486 is used to end a pregnancy, the Morning-After-Pill is used to prevent the pregnancy from ever taking place. There are three different types of birth control concoctions that are used as emergency contraception, progesterone as a stand-alone, estrogen as a stand-alone, or a strong combination of the two.
How Emergency Contraception Works
Emergency contraception like the Preven brand, which was the first birth control medication to be used as an Morning-After-Pill, costs about twenty dollars for four pills which should be taken every twelve hours two at a time. The Morning-After-Pill has been proven ninety-eight percent effective and works in three different ways:
•Ovulation doesn't take place because an egg will not be released
•The menstrual cycle is altered by delaying ovulation
•Irritating the lining of the uterus so that just in case acts one and two of the Morning-After-Pill fall short, the fertilized egg will be unable to attach itself to the lining of the uterus-resulting in spontaneous abortion (miscarriage).