The Morning After Pill Is More Popular Than Ever: 5 Things Every Woman Needs to Know

Health Check 27

Birth Control PillToday's eye-opening statistic: One in nine women have used the morning after pill. New data has been released that the use of emergency contraception is on the rise. According to the National Center for Health Statistics, 11 percent of sexually experienced women between 15 and 44 said they've used the morning after pill between 2006 and 2010. This is compared to 4 percent in 2002. Well, hello there, awareness. It's nice to see you've spread across America.

The most interesting part to me? Research shows more educated women are most likely to use it, and heck, I'm happy that's true. There's no excuse not to know what contraception options are on the market. Whether you have a college education or not, take this chance to educate yourself with these 5 need-to-know facts on emergency contraception:

1. The morning after pill can be purchased at any pharmacy: As long as you are above the age of 18, you can buy the pill with a photo ID at any local pharmacy. It will cost you anywhere from $10 to $70.

2. There can be side effects: I know many women who have experienced extreme nausea from taking the pill. Aside from nausea, throwing up, breast tenderness, dizziness, headaches, and irregular bleeding are other potential side effects.

3. You have five days: This was interesting to me, as I've always been told you have three. According to Planned Parenthood, the pill can reduce the risk of pregnancy for up to 120 hours after unprotected intercourse.

4. It works: The pill can reduce the risk of pregnancy by 89 percent when you take it within the first 72 hours of unprotected intercourse. As time goes on, the hormone becomes less effective.

5. The morning after pill doesn't protect you from STDs: Yes, the pill can prevent unwanted pregnancy, but once you've come into contact with an infected partner -- that's it. The only way to 100 percent protect yourself from STDs is to use condoms.

What do you think about the morning after pill? Do any of these facts surprise you?


Image via nateONE/Flickr

birth control, sex life


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WCURi... WCURiverRat

The Morning After Pill is a great thing! For those of you who think it's not, I'm sure that you must be ok with your tax dollars going to support even more children that some people can't afford. A $50 pill to PREVENT, not TERMINATE, pregnancy is a much better option than someone raising a child in poverty that they could never afford. And even if they chose to abort the unwanted pregnancy, it's their choice, not anyone else's!

This pill is a great back up when traditional birth control fails (ex. condom breaks, forgetting to take the pill, etc.) I'm use two forms of birth control at all times, the NuvaRing and a condom, but neither are 100% effective and if I think that there is any chance that something failed, like the condom broke, I have used the MAP. I am at no point in my life where I am ready for children, nor can I afford children. So I would much rather spend $50 on a pill that is going to help make sure that I don't end up pregnant, than to chance it and end up pregnant.

I have used them and yes they do make your hormones go all to hell. But I can deal with that for a few days, it's better than the alternative.

WCURi... WCURiverRat

And for those of you afraid of people abusing it and using it too much, LET THEM. It's not your body. If that's what they want to do to theirs, then so be it. Just because there are a few idiots out there doesn't mean that you shouldn't be able to get it without a prescription. You can't stop stupid. Someone who doesn't have insurance can't afford to go to the doctor and get a presciption for the MAP. So that would probably prevent a lot of women from having access to it. And if someone can't afford insurance or a trip to the doctor, they probably can't afford a child. Keeping women from having easy access to something like this will only end in heartbreak, abortions and more children being raised on public assistance.

If women want to use the MAP as their only form of birth control, let them! If they're that stupid, maybe it will sterilize them and save us from them bringing more idiots into this world. Modern medicine has pretty much prevented natural selection from doing what it's supposed to, so why not let a few more people win a Darwin award every once and a while?

bella... bellacazzate

None of these facts surprise me, mostly because I've known them since I was 14? 15? Well over a decade. Perhaps it's where I grew up, but we had very comprehensive and open health classes throughout elementary, middle and high school. Awareness started young. 

As a lady who has used the MAP twice (condoms break -- even with your long-term significant other), the only side effects I have had were slight cramping (I get ungodly cramps during menstruation -- like laid up in bed style stomach and leg cramping so this is not surprising) and spotting. Otherwise, that's it. It's $46 over the counter at CVS in Massachusetts. 

Also, ditto to all River Rat's points.

And just as a PSA, don't feed the tools, er, I mean, trolls. 

Fluff... Fluffy0106

I am 12 weeks pregnant with my 3rd child and I took the morning after pill. Our condom slipped and I went to the health depth and they gave me the pill. (The pharmacies in my town DO not carry it and are against it. I live in AL. Nuff said.) At the health department I was told that the pill would work as long as implantation hadn't taken place. It didn't matter if you had ovulated or not. Guess they didn't know how it works and they give it to people every day. I took it under 24 hrs after the condom slipped and here I am pregnant with a child that I didn't plan on having. What's funny about the whole situation is that it was our very first time to have sex and I got knocked up after 2yrs of being single and not having sex. Lol

laure... laurenemb

Fluffy0106, congratulations on your pregnancy! It's true the pill doesn't work so long as implantation has occured, because it's not an abortion pill. But you'll have a beautiful sibling for your other two children, so rock on :)

Also, Stir writers - it's 17 and older than can purchase emergency contraception without a prescription, not 18 and older. Under 17 just needs a call-in from your GP/gyno.

kkat117 kkat117

I got pregnant on the morning after pill too...and i took it within 16 hours ...boy was i surprised lol

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