Ruvimbo Chikukwa got pregnant after her first sexual encounter. She was distraught because her boyfriend had told her to take morning after pills which she had done 12 hours after the encounter.
She is disappointed that the morning after pills is not effective at all. The pills should have prevented the pregnancy considering that they were taken within the stipulated time she reasoned.
This incident made me wonder if women really understand how the contraceptives they take work.
These pills are known to fail if taken when the woman has already ovulated. Scientific research shows that the likelihood of pregnancy is higher for women who take the pill after they have already ovulated.
The pill is known to delay ovulation because it contains hormones that confuse the body into thinking that the woman is already
Sexual intercourse is supposed to be avoided until the next period.
According to an online journal ’emergency contraceptive pills prevent pregnancy primarily, by delaying or inhibiting ovulation. There is no evidence to suggest that either of the FDA-approved emergency contraceptive options, levonorgestrel (LNG, such as Plan B One-Step, Take Action, Next Choice One Dose or My Way) or ulipristal acetate (UPA, such as ella) works after an egg is fertilized.’
In two recent studies women were monitored to identify their menstrual cycle day and ascertain which women took emergency contraceptive before ovulation, and which took it after.
Among women taking levernogestrel (LNG) before ovulation, there were no pregnancies. Among those who took it on the day of ovulation or after, there were about the number of pregnancies that would be expected with no use of emergency contraceptive;
Some of the women we talked to had engaged in unprotected sex after taking the pill and before their period again. They thought once one had taken the pill they were already safe.
They told us that the pharmacists had not given them information on how the pills work or the dangers of taking the pill. This means local pharmacies are selling emergency contraceptive pills to uninformed women without making an effort to educate them.
Youths engaged in unprotected sex were most likely to use the morning after pill. But most of them had no idea how it works. Such a situation can lead to unwanted pregnancies and other problems.