Just like any other means of emergency contraception emergency contraception pills (ECP) serve the purpose of eliminating the risk of pregnancy after an unprotected intercourse has taken place. The reasons why the emergency contraception methods may turn out to be indispensable can be the following:
- The intercourse was spontaneous with the partners being unprepared and therefore unequipped with regular birth control methods,
- The woman who used to take birth control pills for some reason or due to her carelessness neglected to take a pill in due time,
- And another possible situation is the failure of some birth control device that was initially employed in the process of the intercourse (for example having a condom slip off or break).
Any of the several satiations pictured above may lead to the necessity of turning to emergency birth control for help. There are two major emergency contraception methods that are available for women in developed countries: emergency contraception pills (ECP) and IUD (this abbreviation stands for intrauterine devices).
Generally it is necessary to visit a health practitioner in order to obtain any of the emergency contraception devices listed above. The selection of some particular device can be conditioned by some peculiar characteristics of the woman's body, her medical history and other factors, but what is an unconditioned truth is that ESP application should in no way be turned into a regular practice, otherwise the woman will be placed under a risk of considerable health damage.
The efficiency of ECP's in terms of preventing an unwanted pregnancy is determined by several factors. First of all, it is different with several types of ECP. Speaking about the existing types of ECP it should be necessary to mention that there are a few to choose from. The first option to mention is combined ECP, those are the pills that contain both progestin and estrogen, they are attributed 75% of efficiency, there are also progesterone-only ECP that are considered to be more effective giving the 89% chance of successful pregnancy prevention, and finally the last type of emergency contraception to be considered is the intrauterine device with a spectacular level of efficiency of 99.9%.
In order to give the general outline of the usage of all types of ECP it should be necessary to point out that it is not sufficient for the woman to take one pill aver she has experienced unprotected intercourse, in fact that all types of ECP need to be taken in a series of two which will assure their efficiency.
Besides, another factor that produces direct impact on the potential pregnancy prevention success is the period of time in which the first of the two pills is taken. It is best to take the pill within 72 hours after the intercourse. It should also be kept in mind that the emergency contraception pills should be chosen individually by a professional healthcare provider.
Therefore it is not the best idea to run for help to some friend or relative to see how the types of ECP work for you.