Many women fear an unwanted pregnancy, but do not always know how to prevent it, if there was a poorly protected sexual intercourse. For such cases, modern medicine has developed various methods of emergency contraception. When can they be used and how do these contraceptive medications work?
Let's open the veil
This type of contraception has many names: emergency, postcoital, emergency, "fire", urgent and so on. It becomes clear that it should be used only in extreme cases and should not be regularly used. The main purpose of the method is to prevent fertilization after unprotected sexual intercourse. They should not be used more than twice a year, since taking many of these drugs has undesirable consequences. Emergency contraception is used for well-defined indications:
- violation of the integrity of the condom;
- expulsion of the intrauterine device;
- lack of other methods of regular contraception.
It should be emphasized once again that the use of post-coital contraception is possible only in extreme cases. The mechanism of action of this method of protection against unwanted pregnancy is to suppress ovulation or prevent the fetus from attaching to the uterus. In this regard, post-coital contraception is most effective in the next three days after intercourse. At this time, the fertilization of the egg and the attachment of the embryo formed.
The maximum duration of emergency contraception is 6 days. If much more time has passed after intercourse, this method can be avoided, since the pregnancy has already come. If emergency contraceptive preparations have not been applied, this does not mean that the woman will necessarily become pregnant. Studies in the UK have shown that successful fertilization of an egg occurs in 50% of cases. However, if a woman is 100% willing to protect herself from conception after casual sexual intercourse, you should think about contraceptives.
Varieties of "fire" contraception
There are several methods to prevent unwanted pregnancy, each of which has its own characteristics:
Douching has been popular in past centuries. Today, medicine does not approve of them, because their effectiveness is extremely low: sperm can penetrate the cervix within a minute after ejaculation. Applied solutions dry the walls of the vagina and lead to a violation of microflora. Despite this, some women continue to resort to this technique. The most effective modern medicine considers hormonal drugs and the intrauterine device. Consider each of the methods in more detail.
Although reviews of hormonal drugs are still controversial, doctors say their effects on the endometrium, thereby violating the embryo. At the same time, these drugs can affect the menstrual cycle and delay ovulation, so their frequent use is unsafe for the body. Among the hormonal drugs of emergency contraception the most effective are 2 groups - estrogens and gestagens.
This method first appeared in the 1960s. It was recognized as effective, however, after the use of estrogen, many subjects experienced a pronounced side effect in the form of vomiting. If estrogen has been used as a contraceptive, but the pregnancy has nevertheless arrived, it must be terminated. Drugs have a negative impact on the development of the fetus.
A more effective scheme suggested Canadian doctor Albert Yuzpe, combining estrogen and progestogens. The percentage of unaffected pregnancy after sexual intercourse is 98%, but in a third of cases, adverse reactions are observed:
- pain in the mammary glands.
In Canada, the Yuzpe method is produced under the name "Ovral" and contains 4 tablets. In Europe, it can be found under the name "Tetraginon". In Russia there are different types of this drug, differing in dosage and methods of administration:
- "Femoden" and others.
Usually, the regimen is made up of 2 varieties depending on the drug:
- 4 tablets twice with an interval of 12 hours;
- 5 tablets twice with an interval of 12 hours.
The advantage of the Yuzpe method is its availability, since these drugs can be purchased at any pharmacy.
If Yuzpe emergency contraceptive pills contain estrogens and progestins, then there are also drugs containing progestins only. These substances are known in two forms - as derivatives of progesterone (female hormone) and testosterone (male hormone).
As protection against pregnancy, the latter are often used. In large doses, they are able to prevent ovulation. Progestins are represented in modern pharmacology with two drugs, Eskapel and Postinor. The effectiveness of these drugs is manifested in 98% of cases. They are accepted according to the scheme:
- "Postinor": 2 times with an interval of 12 hours;
- Eskapel once.
In the absence of these drugs, you can replace them with Exluton (Charozetta). This medicine is drunk on 20 tablets with an interval of 12 hours. The side effects observed when taking progestins are similar to those seen with the Yuzpe method, but dizziness and glandular swelling are less common. The main disadvantage of these drugs - irregular bleeding, after which you may need to clean the uterus.
Hormonal contraception is not used in such cases:
- liver disease;
- breast oncology;
- bleeding, the cause of which is unknown.
If immediately after taking contraceptives vomiting occurs, you should drink the drug again and use antiemetic drugs.
The action of the drug is based on the suppression of the production of gonadotropic hormones. As a result, ovulation is suppressed, and changes in the endometrium prevent the fetus from attaching. A single dose of the drug is 600 mg, which is repeated after 12 hours. Side effects from this drug are similar to the Yuzpe method, but vomiting is much less common. It is difficult to judge the effectiveness of the drug, as it is not well understood. Assign "Danazol" if hormonal contraception is contraindicated.
This drug acts like the previous one. It is most effective in the first three days. The regimen is built individually, depending on various factors. The most pronounced side effect of the drug are unforeseen painful periods and cycle violations. Mifepristone can be used to induce samoabort if after intercourse no more than 5 weeks have passed. However, due to the dangerous effects of taking the medicine, you should first consult with your doctor.
This is no less effective method than hormonal contraception, during which a spiral is placed in the uterus. This necessarily takes into account the desire of the woman herself and contraindications:
- inflammation of the uterus and appendages;
- the woman had never given birth;
- previous sexual intercourse abortion;
- oncology of the female genital organs;
- bleeding, the cause of which is not installed;
- the folds of the uterus;
- inflammation of the ovaries.
With this method, there are practically no side effects, however, it is necessary to monitor that within 2 weeks after the installation of the helix, inflammatory processes in the uterus do not develop. The advantage of the IUD is the possibility of its use even after a week after sexual intercourse, when hormonal drugs will no longer be effective. Navy are available in various configurations. They are selected by the doctor depending on the testimony of the patient.
The principle of intrauterine contraception is different from hormonal. The egg cell moves into the uterus much faster and does not have time to acquire the qualities that will allow it to gain a foothold. The spiral takes the place of a fertilized egg in the uterus. When the egg does not find a place to consolidate, it is displayed with the next menstruation. The composition of the IUD includes copper, which has an additional contraceptive effect on semen. About the safety of the method of the Navy is still debated. On the one hand, intrauterine contraception does not affect lactation, does not cause discomfort in everyday life and during intimacy.
On the other hand, it is a foreign body implanted in the uterus, which can cause inflammation. Women who decide to put the IUD, it should be noted that the manipulation is painful and increases the amount of blood discharge during menstruation.
When choosing a method of emergency contraception, you should carefully consider your health and consult a doctor. Do not use these drugs regularly, as they lead to impaired fertility. Although hormonal and intrauterine contraceptives are still the most reliable in medicine, they should be used carefully.