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Posted on: November 03, 2023

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Emergency oral contraceptive pills (ECPs), also known as the morning after pill, is a form of emergency contraceptive that is taken after unprotected sex to prevent unintended pregnancies. 

ECPs are not meant to be a regular contraceptive method. As the name suggests, it’s only meant for emergencies such as when you experience birth control failure, for example the condom you are using breaks.1 

There are different types of ECP pills available in Malaysia. Their effectiveness relies heavily on taking them within the right time frame after unprotected sex.

Factors to Consider before Using Plan B / Morning After Pills

There are various factors to consider when using the morning after pill. Taking the pill within a certain time frame is key to ensuring its effectiveness. This may range from within 72 to 120 hours after unprotected sex, depending on the type of pill you use. Refer to the product packaging or consult a healthcare professional to make sure you are taking the pill correctly.

Weight can also affect how well ECPs work. If you are overweight, ECPs may not be as effective in preventing pregnancies.2 In such cases, it may be best to use other forms of contraception instead.

Hormonal ECP pills contain a hormone that works by temporarily delaying eggs from being released, preventing the sperm from fertilizing an egg. Speak with your healthcare professional to identify which of these two alternatives would work best for you.

How to Maximize the Efficiency of the Morning After Pills?

Following the recommended dosage and timing is important to maximize the efficiency of ECPs. The efficacy rate of ECPs varies depending on how soon you take the ECP after the unprotected sex. Their effectiveness declines the longer you wait to take them.3

Keep in mind that the morning after pill works by temporarily delaying ovulation or the release of eggs by the ovaries. If you are already ovulating when you have unprotected sex, then the ECPs may not work to prevent pregnancy.

Understanding the Pros and Cons of ECP Pills

ECPs have their pros and cons. On the positive side, they provide a last-minute option to prevent pregnancy after unprotected intercourse.

However, it's crucial to recognize the limitation: if taken too late in your menstrual cycle, particularly after ovulation has occurred, the efficacy of ECPs diminishes significantly. Hence, regular contraceptive pills will be a more reliable long term family planning method.

Understanding both the benefits and limitations of these pills is essential for making informed decisions about your reproductive health.

Discuss with a Family Planning Specialist before Taking ECP Pills

Beyond emergency contraceptive pills (ECPs), your healthcare professionals can introduce you to a wide range of contraceptive methods available. They can take into account your medical history, lifestyle, and future family planning goals to recommend alternatives that may be more suitable for you.

Visit Howuknow to learn more about the different contraceptive methods available to you.