Basic Facts, No Moral Implications
This article will not discuss the moral implications of the morning after pill; it will merely discuss what the pill is, how it works, and how to use it. This pill is used as a contraceptive for women who desire to prevent pregnancy in cases of an unwanted sexual encounter, unprotected sex, or a failed contraceptive device. It is not an "abortion" pill like the drug known as RU486. It is approved for use by the FDA and can be obtained only by prescription from a licensed doctor.
What Is It?
The morning after pill is also sometimes called "Plan B." It is made with either a combination of the hormones estrogen and progestin or just progestin alone. It prevents pregnancy from occurring by disrupting the travel of the sperm and the egg so that they will not fertilize and conception will not occur. The morning after pill does not cause a spontaneous abortion.
There are two pills that are taken as part of this form of contraceptive. The first pill must be taken within 72 hours of intercourse and the second pill within 12 hours after the first pill. Some of the side effects that some women have reported when using the morning after pill include: nausea, vomiting, fatigue, menstrual changes, headaches, dizziness, and tender breasts. If you are unknowingly pregnant when you take the pill it will not harm the fetus or cause you to abort. But, you should not take the pill if you know you are pregnant, if you have any unexplained vaginal bleeding, or if you have known allergies to any of the ingredients in the morning after pill. Make sure that you read and understand all of the directions before you take any medication, even if it is prescribed by your doctor.
Talk To Your Doctor
Talk to your doctor as soon as possible after unprotected sex, unwanted sex (as in a rape situation) or if you feel that your contraceptive device somehow failed if you are interested in the morning after pill, because you only have a limited time in which it will be effective. At that time you can ask your doctor any other questions you have about the effectiveness of this drug or any possible side effects or risks. The morning after pill is not available over the counter.
You can research this drug as well as other contraceptive options online or by talking to a medical professional.