The mention of, “I am pregnant” in many young relationships does not only sound like but is actually a death sentence. The ‘guy’ thinks of her family forcing him to marry her, “right now” and for the girl, the sentence is simple, “They are going to kill me.” This is why so many University girls abort, which in itself is dangerous. Some however, know about the morning-after-pill and take it weekly. Doctors say abuse of the pill can lead to delayed return to fertility, weight gain and affect the regular monthly cycle.
LinkmeUg: What is morning after pill?
Dr. Kibirige: It is a pill to prevent pregnancy which is taken after intercourse has occurred you could call it an oral emergency contraceptive. It is used to avoid pregnancy when a condom was forgotten or just not used.
LinkmeUg: When is it needed?
Dr. Kibirige: If you are at risk of an unplanned pregnancy after unprotected sex or if your birth control method fails, the morning pill comes in as an emergency.
LinkmeUg: How does it work?
Dr. Kibirige: The morning after pill is hormonal in nature and it works mainly by delaying or stopping ovulation.
LinkmeUg: When should I take the morning after pill?
Dr. Kibirige: Emergency contraception is more effective the sooner its taken so don’t wait till he next morning if you can access one immediately.
LinkmeUg: Which morning after pills are available in Uganda?
Dr. Kibirige: These include Postinor-2, L-pill, High dose. Usually the dose is one tablet but follow the instructions of a physician. Avoid self-medication.
LinkmeUg: Will the morning after pill prevent future pregnancies?
Dr. Kibirige: No, it is an emergency contraception and should not even be taken regularly. Other ways of preventing pregnancy include faithful use of condoms and other hormonal contraception.
LinkmeUg: Will it prevent STI/Ds?
Dr. Kibirige: No. Only a physical barrier such as a condom will prevent STIs.
LinkmeUg: Does my usual hormonal contraceptive work after taking the morning after pill?
No, there is interaction that causes disruption, you must take additional precautions.
LinkmeUg: If I drink alcohol before or after taking emergency contraceptive pills, will they be less effective?
Dr. Kibirige: Alcohol does not affect the morning-after pill but this is no excuse to drink excessively otherwise you will forget condoms again. if you are on the daily pill, alcohol will make you forget to take them.
LinkmeUg: What other emergency contraception is available?
Dr. Kibirige: The IUD (intrauterine device or coil ) can be inserted into the womb to prevent implantation. It’s effective up to 120hrs (5days) after unprotected sex. it’s the most effective form of emergency contraception, but usually they are harder to access than a pill. It must be fitted by a trained health care professionals at family planning clinics or sexual health clinics.
An IUD can be left in a place as a regular method of contraception, or it can be removed.
Dr. Kibirige: Don’t make it a habit of taking the morning after pill, rather choose to abstain, having protected sex all the time or go to a medical center and ask about the best contraception option for you.
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