07 Apr Morning-after Pill (MAP)
The Morning-after pill is a hormonal method of emergency contraception which aims to prevent pregnancy after unprotected sexual intercourse. It is usually used when a condom breaks or after a sexual assault.
Timing is a critical factor for the effective use of MAP. Depending on the time during the menstrual cycle that they are taken, MAP may stop or delay the egg from ovulation, interfere with fertilization, or change the lining of the womb thereby preventing implantation of a fertilized egg. If the baby has already attached to the womb, studies have shown that MAP will have no effect on the foetus. The pregnancy will continue normally.
The common and unpleasant side-effects are nausea and vomiting. About 50% of women experience nausea; and 20% vomit according to some studies. Some women may experience headache, dizziness, cramping, tender breasts, and/or irregular bleeding. Because of the side effects, MAP should not be used repeatedly.
MAP is not as effective as other hormonal contraceptive methods such as pills or skin patches. Their effectiveness in preventing pregnancy varies between 74% to 89%.