By Gena-pat Adie
What is the MORNING-AFTER PILL? The morning-after pill is a type of emergency birth control (contraception). Emergency contraception is used to prevent pregnancy for women who have had unprotected sex. Further more, Women whose birth control method has failed, can also use them. It is used to prevent a pregnancy, not end one. The morning-after pill is intended for backup contraception only, not as a primary method of birth control. They work primarily by delaying ovulation.
What are the RISKS in using the MORNING-AFTER PILL?
While Emergency contraception is an effective option for preventing pregnancy after unprotected sex, it is not as effective as other methods of contraception and as such not recommended for routine use. Also, the morning-after pill can fail even with correct use, and it offers no protection against sexually transmitted infections.
The morning-after pill isn’t appropriate for everyone. Do not take a morning-after pill if:
- You’re allergic to any component of the morning-after pill
- You’re taking certain medications that can decrease the effectiveness of the morning-after pill.
- If you’re overweight or obese, there’s some indication that the morning-after pill would not be as effective in preventing pregnancy as it is for women who are not overweight.
SIDE EFFECTS of the morning-after pill.
These typically last only a few days. They might include:
- Nausea or vomiting
- Breast tenderness
- Bleeding between periods or heavier menstrual bleeding
- Lower abdominal pain or cramps
A 2006 study published in the Mayo Clinic Proceedings noted that taking the birth control pill before pregnancy results in a 44 percent increased risk of developing breast cancer prior to age 50. The study analysis noted that 21 out of 23 retrospective studies have shown an increased risk of breast cancer in women who took oral contraceptives prior to pregnancy.
RISKS IGNORED – Adverse Effects of Morning After Pill (MAP)
At home and abroad, the abortion, family planning, and population control groups which seek to promote MAP ignore the scientifically-proven risks of levonorgestrel (the sole active ingredient of Plan B MAP). These well-documented adverse side effects of morning after pills include significant weight gain (on average 15 pounds), depression, ovarian cyst enlargement, gallbladder disease, high blood pressure, respiratory disorders, increased risk of ectopic pregnancy and death. In some women, these serious adverse effects of levonorgestrel-type MAP could lead to further health risks for bulimia, anorexia, or clinical depression.
While these risks are multiplied with increased use, the advocates of MAP promote its increased, frequent, and repeated use. The makers of Plan-B, MAP suggest it “can be provided as frequently as needed,” as if it were candy. The wholesale promotion by the profiteers is undercut by solid evidence, and warnings advising women and physicians to limit usage, or to not use it at all. Norplant, the drug very similar to Plan B, was linked to severe medical problems which were never adequately studied or acknowledged by the FDA or the drug manufacturer (please see PRI’s Norplant information page).