What are the dangers of taking postinor 2? (one of the most common types of emergency contraceptives pills). You’ve heard stories and myths about the use of emergency contraceptives pills, also called morning-after pill or plan-B with the common brands we know being Postinor-2 and Post-Pill, can it cause any harm to your health or not.
In this article, I’ll be educating you on the right use of emergency contraceptives pills with special emphasis on postinor 2 as well as shedding light on grey areas concerning emergency contraceptive pills use. Read on romantic ways to tell your husband you are pregnant to spice up your marriage.
Emergency Contraceptive Pills
Emergency contraceptive pills are pills used following unprotected sexual intercourse or suspected birth control malfunction to prevent pregnancy. 95% of expected pregnancies will be prevented if taken within the first 24 hours, declining to 58% if taken between 48 hours and 72 hours after unprotected intercourse.
Pregnancy occurs due to the menstrual cycle. The length of the menstrual cycle varies from woman to woman, but the average is to have periods every 28 days. Regular cycles that are longer or shorter than this, from 21 to 40 days, are normal.
If a woman engages in unprotected sexual activity, she has a high tendency of getting pregnant if she is on her ovulation period (middle of the menstrual cycle) as pregnancy occurs when the sperm or spermatozoa meets a released egg (ova) from the ovary and fertilizes it. This fertilization of the egg takes 72 hours and the sperm can remain active in the female body for up to five days.
The generic active component in an emergency contraceptive pill such as postinor 2 is Levonorgestrel. It is a progestin drug that works by preventing the release of the egg from the ovary, or by preventing the fertilization of the egg by the sperm, thereby reducing the risk of pregnancy.
For emergency contraceptives to be effective, they must be used within 72 hours (3 days) of unprotected sexual intercourse. The earlier, the better as its effectiveness diminishes with time and after 72 hours it can no more prevent pregnancy or conception.
Right way to take Postinor 2 (Emergency Contraceptive Pills)
Take a postinor 2 pill within 72 hours of having unprotected sex and the second tablet exactly 12 hours after taking the first. All things being equal, it should be taken not more than 24 hours after unprotected sex to maximize effectiveness.
It should not be used more than once (four pills; two pills first time and two pills after 12 hours) in every menstrual cycle (approximately one month) if it’s a two pills brand of postinor 2. This means you might need to delay the first dose slightly.
If used more than once in a menstrual cycle, it is most likely to cause irregularities in the menstrual cycle and menstrual flow and this is why emergency contraceptive pills like postinor 2 are not recommended as long-term contraception or birth control method.
The use of emergency contraceptives pills multiple times doesn’t change how effective it is, nor have long-term side effects. They should however not be popped each time you have unprotected sex.
To buttress that, below are some important points to consider:
Changes the Menstrual Cycle
The regular use of emergency contraceptives pills or morning-after pills disrupts the menstrual cycle, leading to irregularity in the monthly cycle and spotting between periods; this is minor droplets of blood from the vagina and is a frequent side effect of postinor 2.
This is due to the mechanism of action of levonorgestrel as stated above, which is preventing the release of an egg from the ovary. It implies that your period would not come on the day you’re expecting it. It can be earlier or later. This is not something you want, as an irregular cycle makes your period unpredictable.
It Cannot Prevent Pregnancy if the Egg has been Fertilized
The primary risk associated with using emergency contraceptive pills or morning-after pills such as postinor 2 as a contraceptive method is an unplanned pregnancy.
This is because it is less effective compared to other forms of birth control like implants, pills, IUD, etc. Also, it cannot prevent pregnancy if the eggs have been fertilized before the use of the emergency contraceptive pill.
It is more Expensive Compared to other Forms Birth Control
It is more expensive and not very convenient to take it each time you have unprotected sex. It’s cheaper and longer-lasting to simply visit a hospital or family planning clinic to get a regular birth control measure.
Short term dangers of taking emergency contraceptive pills (Postinor 2) are:
Diarrhea: Is a condition that an individual has a loose or watery stool. When you have diarrhea, you may need to quickly run to the bathroom with urgency and this may happen more frequently than normal. Although it is a very common condition which most times resolve on its own without any form of intervention.
It can cause a feeling of bloating, abdominal cramping and may sometimes lead to dehydration. Drink plenty of fluids and avoid greasy foods, eggs, milk, and alcohol, giving preference to black, chamomile, or guava leaf tea.
Headache: fluctuations in hormones caused by taking emergency contraceptive pills such as postinor leads to aching pains in the head albeit the severity and duration of such headache vary from one individual to the other. Painkillers such as paracetamol are also recommended in severe cases of headaches.
Nausea: this is simply an urge to vomit which comes immediately after taking emergency contraceptive pills such as postinor 2 although severity varies from one person to the other. To ease this, it is advisable that the individual eats immediately after taking emergency contraceptive pills or the individual lies down. A home remedy may be prepared and taken, such as ginger or clove tea with cinnamon, or antiemetic medication.
Vomiting: This occurs due to the hormonal fluctuating changes caused by the mechanism of action of emergency contraceptive pills such as postinor 2. Actions taken for nausea can also relieve or reduce vomiting.
Unusual changes in the menstrual cycle: it might be scary to notice abnormal and unexpected changes in your cycle especially after an unprotected sexual encounter but this is a frequent and normal side effect of postinor 2
Spotting: (a form of irregular bleeding from the vagina) can also be experienced due to the fluctuation in hormones and when your normal flow resumes, it can be lighter or heavier.
The above mentioned is the reason that emergency contraceptive pills example postinor 2 is not advised as a regular form of contraception or birth control as it can make your menstrual cycle permanently become irregular.
Tender Breasts: this is when your breast might feel a little swollen and looks bigger which cause a feeling of heaviness or soreness. This heavy or sore feeling can spread to your armpits and even your arms.
Hormones present in postinor 2 can make your body retain fluids and this can cause extra water to be strapped in the tissues of your breast thereby leading to a feeling of heaviness or soreness. Most times it only lasts for a few months then disappears.
Other side effects include Stomach ache, dizzy feeling, and fatigue.
You should seek medical attention if these side effects persist, worsen or become unbearable.
Dangers of taking Postinor 2
Albeit less common (about 1% of the total population of the users of postinor 2) than the frequent side effects, the dangers of taking postinor 2 are:
Ectopic pregnancy: A type of pregnancy in which the fertilized egg implants (stays and grows) outside the uterus or womb. The fertilized egg can’t survive outside the uterus (womb) and if allowed to grow, it can damage organs close by and cause excessive loss of blood which is life-threatening.
Symptom of ectopic pregnancy are pelvic pain and vaginal bleeding and treatments are required to prevent complications. Medication can suffice at the early stages but if left untreated, surgery will be required as it progresses.
Acne: Acne is a very common skin condition where the pores (little holes) in your skin are blocked by hair, bacteria, dead skin cells, and sebum (an oily substance). Blockages of these pores (little holes) produce blackheads, whiteheads, nodules, and other forms of pimples. This is due to hormonal imbalances that can be caused by frequent usage of postinor 2.
Flu-like symptoms: Also called a flu-like syndrome, it is a collection of symptoms similar to those caused by influenza (flu) virus. The manifestation includes fever, chills, headache, muscle or body aches, cough, sore throat, runny nose, fatigue, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.
Although flu-like symptoms may be caused by viral infections or other illnesses that are not caused by the influenza virus, they may also occur as a side effect of postinor 2
Don’t take emergency contraceptive pills if you’re pregnant or suspect that you may be pregnant. Also, if your period is more than 7 days late, you are advised to take a pregnancy test.
When Should you not Use Postinor 2
- You are pregnant
- You have previously had unprotected intercourse more than 72 hours earlier in the same menstrual cycle, as you may already be pregnant
- You are experiencing vaginal bleeding for which the reason of such bleeding is not known
- You know that you have breast cancer
- You know you are allergic to the constituent of the drugs. To ascertain this, always read the drug description that can be seen in the drug leaflet that comes in the drug pack or ask your health care provider.
- The tablets looks as if it has been tampered with or has expired.
Special consideration should be taken if:
- You have diabetes mellitus which might involve kidney, eye or nervous damage, or diseases of the blood vessels) – Diabetes mellitus (DM) is a disease condition in which the body does not produce enough insulin or the body tissues are not able to utilize the insulin produced by the body. This leads to increased presence of sugar in the blood or what is medically referred to as hyperglycaemia.
- You have ischaemic heart disease (heart disease caused by reduced blood flow in the blood vessels of the heart muscle)
- You have suffered a stroke (reduction or stoppage of blood flow to a particular part of the brain due to blockage of blood vessels or rupturing of the brain)
- You have had breast cancer
- You have severe liver disease
- you have a disease of your gastro-intestinal tract (such as Crohn’s disease) that interferes with the digestion and absorption of your food;
- you are vomiting or have severe diarrhoea
For the last two conditions, you might have to take a higher dose of postinor 2 to achieve effectiveness.
Other things to consider before taking the postinor 2 will be the drugs you are currently taking such as:
- Medicines used to treat epilepsy (for example, barbiturates, primidone, phenytoin, and carbamazepine).
- Medicines used to treat tuberculosis (for example, rifampicin, rifabutin).
- A treatment for HIV infection (ritonavir).
- A medicine used to treat fungal infections (griseofulvin).
- Herbal remedies containing St John’s wort (Hypericum perforatum)
In conclusion, emergency contraceptives or morning-after pills are not the best way to prevent pregnancy long-term as the name ’emergency’ implies. It should not be used as a regular contraceptive measure. Birth control that you use before or during sex is way more effective, affordable, and convenient.
If you do not get your period within 3 weeks of taking the tablets you must see your doctor, as you may be pregnant. If Postinor-2 does not work, you could be pregnant. Your doctor will order a pregnancy test. If stomach pain is severe you should see your doctor immediately as on rare occasions a tubal pregnancy could occur.
Postinor-2 is only intended as an emergency measure. If you have not already done so you should discuss with your doctor other methods of long-term contraception.
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