Emergency contraception “EC” also called emergency postcoital contraception is a way to prevent pregnancy after an unprotected intercourse, it is done if the female forgot to use contraception or she was forced to have a vaginal intercourse.
Emergency contraception is not effective as birth control that is used before the intercourse but it is intended only for occasional use.
Emergency contraception pills “ECP” also called morning after pill act to prevent ovulation and fertilization and some types of it may act to prevent post-fertilization implantation so some scientists consider it as abortifacient.
ECP contain the same hormones of the regular oral contraceptive pills but with higher doses to prevent pregnancy from occurring.
The duration at which ECP are effective differs according to the drug used but it can be effective up to five days after the unprotected intercourse.
Although ECP can be used up to five days but it is more effective when used quickly after the intercourse.
About 8% of the unprotected intercourses lead to pregnancy but with emergency contraception this proportion is reduced to 2%.
ECP cause the same side effects of the oral contraceptive pills but as the doses of the hormones are higher in the ECP the side effects may be more severe.
Besides ECP, Intrauterine devices can be used as emergency contraception tools but with higher risk for sexually transmitted diseases.