Emergency contraception – or EC for short – is a set of birth control methods, the aim of which is to prevent unwanted pregnancy after having unprotected sex.
Types of Emergency Contraception
- Intrauterine devices (IUDs). These are, in fact, primary contraceptive measures, but can be used as emergency contraception as well. They are T-shaped devices which are inserted into a female’s uterus. IUDs can prevent pregnancy if inserted within five days of having unprotected sex. They are highly effective, since they contain copper. And copper is toxic to sperm: it can’t swim well in its presence.
- Emergency contraceptive pills (ECP). You know these by their second – and more popular – name: “the morning-after pill”. There are many different brands (see this list), but only three types:
- Progestin-only (or: levonorgestrel/LNG) pills
- Combined estrogen and progestin pills (these were shown to be less effective than LNG pills – in addition to causing minor side effects – and aren’t available anymore as dedicated EC pills); and
- Antiprogestin pills, which can contain either
- ulipristal acetate; or
How Do the Pills Work?
The morning-after pills are able to work their magic because pregnancy doesn’t happen right away after having an unprotected sex. In other words: unless a female is already ovulating, she still has some time to prevent pregnancy before the sperm reaches the eggs. Because, once inside a female body, sperm can live inside for half a dozen days, waiting for an egg to fertilize. So, it’s all about the timing! If a woman is already ovulating, morning pills won’t work. EC pills are not abortifacients, i.e. they can’t end the pregnancy by removing an egg already attached to the womb. However, if a woman isn’t ovulating, EC pills will work just fine if taken during any of the first five days after the unprotected sexual intercourse. EC pills work by either stopping the ovary from realising an egg, preventing the fertilisation of an already released egg, or blocking a fertilised egg to implant itself within the lining of the womb.
At Murphy’s Chemist
Advice & Acquiring EC Pills
Here, at Murphy’s Chemist, we value our customers’ trust above everything. So, if you need emergency hormonal contraceptive advice, feel free to contact us at any time. You can speak with our pharmacists, both in the pharmacy and by phone (you can find the numbers on our website). However, to acquire the pills, you’ll need to visit our pharmacy for a quick, discreet and private consultation. It’s nothing uncommon: it is both safe and appropriate. All we need from you is to answer us few general medical questions and to fill out a short questionnaire. So as we can be sure that EC pills are suitable for you. Don’t worry: your personal life is yours only, and we’ll ask nothing about the circumstances which have led to you seeking advice for emergency contraception.
Price & Some Other Useful Info
The cost for emergency contraception pills is £25.
All EC pills are extremely safe, and there are no serious side effects. True, they can sometimes fail, but even so – will not affect the pregnancy in any way. However, don’t use EC pills on a regular basis. There are many better first-choice methods of contraception. At Murphy’s Chemist, we have the full range of contraceptive products. And, understandably, our pharmacy staff can advise you on the many options available to you.