It is used as an emergency contraceptive tablet to prevent unwanted pregnancy in case of unprotected sex or contraception failure. The emergency contraceptive pill should be taken within 24-72 hours of having unprotected sex. The pill should be taken orally. Also, the sooner you take the pill, the better it is because as time passes by, the pill becomes less effective. Most of these pills are advised to be taken within 72 hours.
This tablet contains levonorgestrel as an active ingredient. When the active compound gets into the bloodstream, it blocks the formation of hormones such as luteinizing hormone (LH) and follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH). These hormones are responsible for the development and release of eggs from the ovaries (ovulation). Hence, depending upon your reproductive cycle, the emergency pill works by delaying the process of ovulation. However, in case the ovary has already released the egg, the tablet works by disrupting the fertilization of the egg with the sperm. In case the fertilization has already occurred, it prevents the pregnancy by hindering the implantation (attachment) process in the uterus.
However, what most women need to know is the fact that the morning-after pill is not a primary form of birth control and should only be used in the case of an emergency. Moreover, it should not be confused with pills used to induce abortion. It is usually safe if taken in a responsible manner but can lead to certain side effects such as nausea, fatigue, and stomach cramps.
Levonorgestrel IP: 1.5 mg
Key uses/benefits of i-pill:
- Is used as emergency contraception, hence helps in avoiding unwanted pregnancy
- Provides a safe and effective way to prevent an unintended pregnancy after unprotected sex or contraceptive failure
Direction for use:
Take one pill as soon as possible, but no later than 72 hours of unprotected sex to prevent unwanted pregnancy.
Quick tips of i-pill:
- This tablet works as an emergency birth control pill that has a strong dose of hormones. So, do not use it on a regular basis and use it only for emergency purposes.
- As an i-pill is an emergency contraceptive pill, you should not mistake it for regular oral contraceptive pills or abortion pills.
- If you do not get your periods within three weeks after using this medicine, it is wise to do a pregnancy test to make sure you are not pregnant.
- Do not take this pill if you are allergic to it. Talk to your doctor for other effective contraceptive pills that you can take.
- If you vomit within three hours of taking this pill, then take another pill as soon as possible. This is because vomiting does not let the constituents of the pill get absorbed by the body which can render the pill ineffective.
- These pills are not 100% effective in the prevention of pregnancy.
- These pills do not work if pregnancy has already occurred.
- Emergency pills do not protect against the risk of sexually transmitted diseases like HIV. Condoms should always be used to prevent these diseases as they are safe and effective methods of contraception.
Side effects of i-pill:
This tablet is usually safe if taken in a responsible manner. However, there may be some side effects such as:
- Stomach cramps
- Menstrual irregularities (delayed or early periods)
Most of these side effects occur because of the high dose of hormones present in the pill.
Storage and safety information:
- Do not exceed the recommended dose.
- Read the instruction leaflet/label carefully before use.
- Store in a cool place and protected from light and moisture.
- Keep out of the reach and sight of children.
- Use under medical supervision.
FAQs related to i-pill:
Q. When should i-pill be taken?
As i-pill is an emergency contraceptive pill, it is advised to take it as soon as possible after unprotected sexual intercourse to prevent unwanted pregnancy. Ideally, it is advised to take the pill within 72 hours (three days) after unprotected sex. However, in some cases (especially recommended by a doctor), it can also be taken up to 5 days. But remember that the sooner you take the pill, the higher is the chance of contraception.
Q. Does i-pill affect future pregnancy?
It is one of the most common questions that bother women taking an emergency contraceptive pill. In reality, these pills are known to cause a temporary delay in conception by affecting your hormonal cycle (or menstrual cycle). It doesn’t affect your chances of getting pregnant in the future.
Q. Is it safe to take an i-pill?
It is safe if taken in a cautious and responsible manner. However, there may be some side effects such as nausea, fatigue, headache, and stomach cramps due to hormonal imbalance. In some cases, your periods may start early or even get delayed.
Q. When is it appropriate to take an i-pill?
You should take it only in emergency situations such as unprotected sex, contraceptive failure (e.g. broken condom), or irregular use of your birth control pills.
Q. How should I take an i-pill?
Take one tablet as a whole with water. Take it as soon as possible, not later than 72 hours of unprotected sex or contraceptive failure.
Q. How often can I use i-pill?
Unlike regular oral contraceptives, i-pill is emergency contraception that should be taken only in case of an emergency and not otherwise. This is because it contains high doses of hormones which may significantly alter your hormonal response when taken on a regular basis. Though you can use i-pill multiple times in a month, you must opt for other contraceptive methods such as condoms, regular birth control pills, or intrauterine devices (IUDs) which can help to avoid unwanted pregnancy.
Q. Is a pregnancy test required after taking an i-pill?
Although i-pill significantly reduces your chances of pregnancy, if your periods are delayed by more than a week, a pregnancy test is recommended. If you wish to continue the pregnancy and are worried if the pill would hamper your baby, then no need to be bothered as neither does i-pill work if pregnancy has already been established nor does it harm the fetus.
Q. Can i-pill be taken as an alternative for regular birth control?
No, it is not indicated for regular birth control purposes. Use it only as an emergency measure after unprotected sex or contraceptive failure.References:
- Emergency contraception: Preventing pregnancy after you have had sex. Paediatr Child Health. 2003;8(3):184-194.
- Emergency contraception. Paediatr Child Health. 2003;8(3):181-192.