Emergency Contraception

What Is Emergency Contraception?

Emergency oral contraception, also known as Plan B, is a safe and efficient medicine commonly used to prevent unexpected pregnancies.

Who should use emergency contraception?

The following situations are where you might be considering emergency contraception:

After unprotected sexual activity

In the event of potential contraception failure or inappropriate use, such as

Is Emergency Contraception a Good Option for Me? 

There will be a consultation with your doctor to determine if emergency contraception is appropriate for you. During this consultation, your doctor may ask you some questions to ensure that you are not currently pregnant.

If you have any other medical problems or are taking any long-term medications, please tell your doctor as some drugs may interact with or reduce the efficacy of oral emergency contraception.

Breastfeeding mothers can still use emergency oral contraception, but may have to discard breast milk for up to a week afterwards.

How do Emergency Contraception work?

Ovulation Delay or Prevention

Emergency contraception works by postponing or preventing ovulation, or the release of an egg.

What kinds of emergency contraception are there?

72 hours pills and the 120 hour pill are the most commonly available forms of oral emergency contraception in Singapore.

72 hour Pills 120 hour Pill
Timing Effective up to 72 hours from time of intercourse Effective up to 120 hours from time of intercourse
Doses 1 tablet as soon as possible and 1 tablet 12 hours later 1 tablet as soon as possible

How effective is emergency oral contraception?

When used properly, emergency oral contraception has a 95% or higher success rate. This success rate is influenced by how soon after intercourse it is used, with success rates ranging from 95% to 100%.

While oral emergency contraception has a high success rate, it is not completely foolproof. If your period is late, you should still perform a urine pregnancy test.

What are the possible side effects of Emergency Oral Contraception?

Nausea and vomiting are the most common side effects of emergency oral contraception. If vomiting occurs within 2-3 hours of taking the pill, a second dose may be necessary.

In addition to discomfort in the abdomen, emergency oral contraception can also cause alterations in a person’s menstrual cycle, such as spotting. Your period should still start a week after the anticipated date. A urine pregnancy test might be recommended if there was an unusual delay in menstruation, which could be a symptom of pregnancy.

How Often Should You Use Emergency Contraception?

It should not be used more than once per month or each menstrual cycle. Emergency contraception is not intended to be a long-term method of contraception, nor does it offer protection from STDs (STIs).

What other methods of birth control are available?

If you’ve had to use oral emergency contraception several times, you might want to think about the other more conventional methods of contraception. These might include both short-term, reversible forms of contraception like birth control pills and hormone patches or longer-term methods like implants and intrauterine devices (IUD).

IUDs are unique in the sense that they are both long-term and reversible in nature. The copper-bearing (IUD) last several years, and is one of the comparable contraceptive options available in addition to emergency oral contraception.