Emergency contraception

Have you had a recent sexual encounter? Not sure whether you could be pregnant? Did you know that women can’t get pregnant every day of the month? This means that you may not be able to get pregnant right now.

Tracking your monthly cycle can help you determine major hormone changes for your overall health, when and whether you are ovulating, and understand your “window to the inside.”

A woman’s “cycle” is more than just her period. A cycle is the monthly action pattern of the reproductive system, which functions for two reasons:

  1. To achieve and support pregnancy
  2. To ensure a woman has enough hormones for her overall health

If you aren’t tracking your monthly cycle, you may be missing important information about your unique cycle; information such as whether you may be pregnant/where your “fertility window” is.

If you’re considering emergency contraception, the abortion pill, or an at-home pregnancy test, here are some things you should know.

Emergency Contraception

Mayo Clinic defines emergency contraception as “A type of emergency birth control (contraception). Emergency contraception is used to prevent pregnancy for women who’ve had unprotected sex or whose birth control method has failed.” Emergency contraception may also be called the morning-after pill.

How Emergency Contraception Works

The Food and Drug Administration states that depending on the brand/type and where you are in your cycle, emergency contraception can affect your body in several ways: 1. May prevent ovulation 2. It may irritate the lining of your uterus 3. is a pill that blocks the hormone progesterone.

Most Common Side Effects 

The following are the most common side effects reported by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration after using emergency contraception:

  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Abdominal Pain
  • Breast Pain
  • Menstrual Changes/Pain
  • Tiredness
  • Dizziness
  • Vomiting

Abortion Pill

Mayo Clinic defines medical abortion as “A procedure that uses medicine to end a pregnancy.”

How the Abortion Pill Process Works

Mifepristone and Misoprostol are two prescription drugs women take to end early pregnancy. Mifepristone is used to block a hormone (progesterone). Misoprostol is the second pill used to cause uterine contractions to end the pregnancy. 

Most Common Side Effects

The following is a list of common side effects:

  • Heavy bleeding that exceeds more than the contraction and end of early pregnancy
  • Nausea
  • Weakness
  • Fever
  • Dizziness
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Headache

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration states that women should not take the Abortion Pill if they:

  • No longer are in the first trimester of pregnancy
  • Have known allergies to Mifepristone or Misoprostol, or on other medications that cannot be mixed together
  • Have an IUD in place
  • Have problems with bleeding and adrenal glands

NOTE: If serious medical needs arise, such as heavy bleeding, unconsciousness, etc. you or a trusted individual should call 911 immediately. 

Verify Whether You Are Pregnant

Options for Women / River Falls offers Pregnancy Health Assessments that are no-cost to you. This includes medical grade pregnancy testing. If the test is positive, an ultrasound may be performed to determine how far along the pregnancy is, the location of the pregnancy, and if the pregnancy is viable (if the pregnancy will carry to term or naturally miscarry).

Your licensed Nurse and Certified Client Advocate is someone who cares and will answer your pregnancy health questions. Schedule your Pregnancy Health Assessment by phone at (715) 425-8539 or online.

Sources

https://www.fda.gov/drugs/postmarket-drug-safety-information-patients-and-providers/mifeprex-mifepristone-information

https://www.fda.gov/drugs/postmarket-drug-safety-information-patients-and-providers/misoprostol-marketed-cytotec-information

https://www.fda.gov/drugs/postmarket-drug-safety-information-patients-and-providers/questions-and-answers-mifeprex

https://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/morning-after-pill/about/pac-20394730

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