It’s pretty common to have a pregnancy scare when you’re sexually active. Whether the condom broke or you consented to unprotected sex in the heat of the moment, it’s okay. It happens. And there are contraception methods you can take to lower the chances of an unplanned pregnancy.
One of them is the Yuzpe method, an emergency contraception method used as an alternative to emergency contraceptive pills. It prevents pregnancies through the use of daily oral birth control, ones that are available over the counter. If used within 72 hours after the sexual encounter, it can prevent up to 95 percent chance of pregnancy. The sooner it’s taken, the higher the chances of it working.
How it works
Getting pregnant doesn’t happen right after sex. It takes up to seven days until the sperm reaches your eggs. Using this method prevents fertilization because the body releases estrogen and progestin from the pills you take so your body will stop the release of the egg from your ovaries.
The Yuzpe method is generally regarded as a safe emergency contraceptive, but it is still best to consult with a healthcare provider.There will be side effects since the body is absorbing a ton of hormones. Possible side effects may include nausea, vomiting, and headache.
It’s worth noting that recurring use of this method is not recommended. The Philippine Clinical Standards Manual on Family Planning states that “all other contraceptive methods are more effective in preventing pregnancies and have less of the unwanted side effects.” Remember, this is for emergencies only and not for regular use. It’s better to be on a dedicated birth control if you see yourself being sexually active.
Between the Yuzpe method and morning after pills, doctors recommend the latter since it is more effective and has lesser side effects. But why is it not available in the Philippines?
The Philippine Food and Drug Administration banned emergency contraceptive pills in the country because of its “abortifacient” effect even though studies show that it does not have any links to abortion. Women could have access to better emergency contraception if the government reconsiders its position—a position not really backed by science.
Failing to provide women with reproductive healthcare options continues to bring serious risks to their health and lives as many are forced to turn to unsafe abortions or endure unwanted or unplanned pregnancies. It’s our right to have better and more accessible options for our reproductive healthcare.