What Is Emergency Contraception?

>> Wednesday, May 15, 2013

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Contraception use is one of those ongoing controversies we, as women, face throughout our lifetime.

Surely, the weight of these decisions continue to be mainly in our court. Women now have more birth control options and, whether married, in a committed relationship or not, we are the ones who end up pregnant - we cannot just walk away once we are. Once we are pregnant, our bodies go through extreme changes, and whether we feel we want to continue the pregnancy or end it, we are left with the decision and consequences it brings. Even terminating a pregnancy causes irreversible changes to a woman's body- physically, chemically and emotionally - that are for a lifetime.

That is why planning pregnancy and preventing unwanted pregnancy is so important. Contraception choices have changed over the years, giving women safer options and more to choose from. Unfortunately, not everyone is so prepared or can have problems with condoms breaking (or slipping off)….. and then worry about what to do after the fact.

That is why 'Emergency Contraception' (EC) allows a woman the chance to decrease her risk of pregnancy after unprotected or under-protected intercourse. According to the National Institute of Health (NIH), nearly 50% of pregnancies in the United States are unintended. Of these 50% of pregnancies, 52% of women report no contraception use and 43% report inconsistent use. This is why EC has become such an important option of contraception for all women. It allows women the chance to decrease the risk of pregnancy.

EC is not an abortion pill, nor method, but rather a method of birth control that's been around since 1974. It can be used within 72 hours after having sex to prevent pregnancy by delaying ovulation. The original forms of EC started by a doctor by the name of Yupze, who used 2 to 3 birth control pills, 2 days in a row, within 72 hours of having unprotected sex, to delay ovulation and hopefully prevent unwanted pregnancy. The current method most of us are familiar with is "Plan B" and can be obtained at most pharmacies.

So even though now there are many forms of birth control to choose from, EC allows women another option that is safe to use for those scary situations. Babies are awesome, but there is nothing more terrifying to a woman than becoming pregnant when she is not prepared.

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