What is the morning after pill?
The morning after pill is a form of emergency hormonal contraception. It is taken after unprotected sex where no contraception has been used or, where contraception has failed -such as a missed contraceptive pill or a broken condom.
It is commonly used by women to prevent an unwanted pregnancy.
How does the morning after pill work?
There are currently one main type of emergency contraception available in Barbados - Levonorgestrel, sold as Postinor 2 or One Pill.
This is taken as a single dose tablet and work by stopping or delaying the release of an egg, preventing fertilizations and pregnancy.
It should be noted that this medicine does not continue to protect you against becoming pregnant after further intercourse and is not intended to be used as a regular form of contraception. If you have unprotected sex anytime after taking the morning after pill there is a risk of pregnancy.
If you are regularly using the morning after pill it may be beneficial to be taking another form of regular contraception.
When can I take the morning after pill?
It is estimated that Postinor will prevent 85% of expected pregnancies. 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.
It is not known whether Postinor-2 is effective if taken more than 72 hours after unprotected intercourse.
Most women can taken the morning after pill, this includes those under 16 years of age.
How effective is the morning after pill?
Postinor have a high success rate when taken within 24 hours of sex but are not 100% effective. There are some medicines that may make the morning after pill less effective.
- St John’s Wort - A herbal based medicine used to treat symptoms of depression.
- HIV drugs or immunosuppressant drugs - Ritonavir
- Tuberculosis treatment - Rifabutin
- Barbiturates and other medication used to prevent seizures.
If you are taking any of the above medicines it is advisable that you speak with your pharmacist or doctor before taking the morning after pill as you may be required to take two tablets rather than one.
After taking the morning after pill you should not take any medication that will delay your period further.
If you feel that your period is is more than seven days late and have taken the morning after pill, take a pregnancy test to be on the safe side.
What are the side effects of the morning after pill?
Generally side effects of either morning after pill are minimal but like with most medicines some can occur.
Commonly these include:
- Stomach aches
- Changes to your next period - Your period may occur earlier, later or be more painful.
- Nausea and vomiting
Where can I get the morning after pill?
The morning after pill can be purchased from a pharmacy either online or in store. It can also be given on prescription from contraceptive clinics or your Doctor but you should bear in mind the time to get an appointment and whether this will be quick enough.
In some circumstances it may be appropriate to purchase the morning after pill in advance of unprotected sex, for example if you are going on holiday or if you think you will be unable to get hold of emergency contraception easily.
For more information please contact the pharmacist at Phillips Pharmacy at (246) 232-9069. (Call, Text or WhatsApp).
BETTER HEALTH & BEYOND Editorial Team
At Phillips Pharmacy Online our vision is to be an integral part in transforming the way that healthcare is delivered in Barbados & beyond. We are a group of passionate people working hard to make a big positive impact on the lives of people. We work with Doctors, Pharmacists, Pharmaceutical Suppliers and most importantly, with You, to improve the health of all.
Learn more at: https://phillipspharmacy.org
Disclaimer of Medical Advice:
You understand that the blog posts and comments to such blog posts (whether posted by us, our agents or bloggers, or by users) do not constitute medical advice or recommendation of any kind, and you should not rely on any information contained in such posts or comments to replace consultations with your qualified health care professionals to meet your individual needs.