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Can regular contraceptive pill be used as an emergency contraceptive pill?

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Posted on Fri, 25 Nov 2016
Question: Hello Dr.

Me and my wife had unprotected love making yesterday at 4pm. We usually use condoms and my wife is not using any contraceptive pills. We don't have EC pills available here in our country. Can we take regular contraceptive pill like (YASMIN- drospirenone and ethinyl estradiol) as an emergency pill. Can you advise how much dose my wife should take. She is breast feeding and little obese also (BMI 36). Please advise us. Thanks
doctor
Answered by Dr. Jacqueline Brown (34 minutes later)
Brief Answer:
Yes, you can use XXXXXXX as an emergency contraceptive

Detailed Answer:
Hello sir, and I hope I can help you today.

First of all, if your wife has given birth in the last 3 months, the chance of pregnancy is low because she is breastfeeding. If it has been longer than that, especially if your wife is menstruating, there could be a risk of pregnancy. In that case, you should use emergency contraception.

Your wife can certainly use any oral contraceptive as emergency contraception. The recommended dosing regimen is a total of 100 micrograms of estrogen in whatever pill brand you use two doses 12 hours apart.

For XXXXXXX since it contains 30 micrograms of estrogen, she should take three pills 12 hours apart (a total of 6 pills). The total will only be 90 but that should be fine given that your wife is breastfeeding it should be enough protection.

The medical studies on emergency contraception were done with a pill brand containing levonorgestrel as the active ingredient. If you can find a pill brand that contains this kind of hormone, it would be better than using XXXXXXX as it has been tested for safety.

Your wife will likely feel very nauseous after taking 3 pills at a time. Other side effects she may experience are breast tenderness, headaches and bleeding 3-5 days after taking emergency contraception.

So in summary, 3 pills of XXXXXXX taken in two doses 12 hours apart should be effective as emergency contraception.

I hope I was able to adequately answer your question today and that this information was helpful. If I could be of any further assistance, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Best wishes,

Dr. Brown
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Yogesh D
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Follow up: Dr. Jacqueline Brown (24 minutes later)
Dear Dr. Brown

Thanks for elaborate answer. My wife gave birth to our son 1.5 years back. Its just for your info.

Secondly, my wife had her period started on 13th October and it ended on 16th. Please advise whether she is in safe period or active pregnancy period at the moment? I am just keen to know if we can avoid the medication it would be better.

Furthermore, while using XXXXXXX as per your suggested dosage, can we counter nausea by using usual anti nausea medication like Motillium etc.?

doctor
Answered by Dr. Jacqueline Brown (22 minutes later)
Brief Answer:
Your wife was a little past her fertile time, but I still recomend EC

Detailed Answer:
Hello again sir,

As you has unprotected sex about 2 weeks after her period, this is in the latter part of her fertile time so I think you should have your wife take the medicine.

Any anti nausea medication you routinely use can be taken if symptoms develop- it will not change the medicine's effectiveness. Nausea generally develops 4-10 hours after taking the first dose.

I hope this additional information answers your questions and that your wife tolerates the medication well. Let me know if you need anything else.

Regards,

Dr. Brown
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Arnab Banerjee
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Follow up: Dr. Jacqueline Brown (2 hours later)
Dear Dr. Brown

Thanks for the answer. I just want to ask that after my wife taking XXXXXXX is it safe for her to breast feed my baby? Secondly, how much are the chances if she is already pregnant as it's almost 29 hours we had unprotected sex? I just want to ask how this medicine will impact if my wife is already pregnant by now?

Thanks
doctor
Answered by Dr. Jacqueline Brown (58 minutes later)
Brief Answer: XXXXXXX is safe during breastfeeding and early pregnancy

Detailed Answer:
The "morning after" pill still works effectively for 72 hours, and it may also have protection to some degree for up to 5 days. So I believe taking the pills now would still be effective.

In general, breastfeeding is not harmful while taking estrogen contacting birth control, however long term use can reduce the milk supply. There is no evidence of any potential harm to a baby from drinking the breast milk of a women taking birth control pills.

Also- even if a woman accidentally conceived while taking birth control pills, there is no reason to worry. Because the hormones in birth control pills are very similar to those during pregnancy, they will not harm a developing baby or cause birth defects. Regarding your wife's health, all birth control pills increase the risk of blood clots in the legs, strokes and high blood pressure. However she is only taking a one-time dose so I really don't think you need to worry about her medical safety.

The morning-after pill has a 92 percent effectiveness so about 8 percent of women willl get pregnant in spite of using EC (emergency contraception). So the majority of women do benefit from EC.

Let me know if you have any further questions.

Take care,

Dr. Brown

Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Arnab Banerjee
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Dr. Jacqueline Brown

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Can regular contraceptive pill be used as an emergency contraceptive pill?

Brief Answer: Yes, you can use XXXXXXX as an emergency contraceptive Detailed Answer: Hello sir, and I hope I can help you today. First of all, if your wife has given birth in the last 3 months, the chance of pregnancy is low because she is breastfeeding. If it has been longer than that, especially if your wife is menstruating, there could be a risk of pregnancy. In that case, you should use emergency contraception. Your wife can certainly use any oral contraceptive as emergency contraception. The recommended dosing regimen is a total of 100 micrograms of estrogen in whatever pill brand you use two doses 12 hours apart. For XXXXXXX since it contains 30 micrograms of estrogen, she should take three pills 12 hours apart (a total of 6 pills). The total will only be 90 but that should be fine given that your wife is breastfeeding it should be enough protection. The medical studies on emergency contraception were done with a pill brand containing levonorgestrel as the active ingredient. If you can find a pill brand that contains this kind of hormone, it would be better than using XXXXXXX as it has been tested for safety. Your wife will likely feel very nauseous after taking 3 pills at a time. Other side effects she may experience are breast tenderness, headaches and bleeding 3-5 days after taking emergency contraception. So in summary, 3 pills of XXXXXXX taken in two doses 12 hours apart should be effective as emergency contraception. I hope I was able to adequately answer your question today and that this information was helpful. If I could be of any further assistance, please do not hesitate to contact me. Best wishes, Dr. Brown