Saturday, Aug 13, 2022
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Pill Bug

Lured by ads, many adopt morning-after pills indiscriminately

Pill Bug Illustration by Sandeep Adhwaryu

What The Doctor Says

Each such tablet contains 1,500 mcg of levonorgestrel, a synthetic hormone.

  • Statutory warning: Use only in emergency situations, not as substitute for condoms or low-dose oral contraceptives. Does not prevent sexually transmitted diseases such as AIDS.
  • Possible side-effects: Vomiting, nausea, fatigue, abdominal pain, diarrhoea, dizziness, headache, breast tenderness, early or late onset of next period, increased menstrual bleeding and vaginal haemorrhage. Some women might suffer ectopic pregnancy.
  • Failure Rate: 95% effective if taken within 24 hours of intercourse, 85% if taken within 25-48 hours; 58% if taken after 49 but before 72 hours. If used mid-menstrual cycle, one in every 20 women is likely to conceive.
  • Precaution: Use barrier methods such as condoms for three weeks. If period does not start, then the possibility of ectopic pregnancy or toxicity to the foetus needs to be assessed.

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