A lot of women rely on the morning after pill as their own method of emergency contraception. However, there are new guidelines regarding its use that are being released in 2017. They actually advise that women must be well aware of the possible impact of weight on the effectiveness of the pill. In this article, we are going to discuss the possible effects of weight on morning-after pill. Read on to learn more!
Morning After Pill
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The morning-after pill is a type of emergency birth control (contraception). Emergency contraception is essential to prevent pregnancy for women who’ve had unprotected sex or whose birth control method has failed.
The morning-after pill is intended for backup contraception only, not as a primary method of birth control. Morning-after pills contain either levonorgestrel or ulipristal acetate.
Morning-after pills can help prevent pregnancy if you’ve had unprotected sex. It is either because you didn’t use birth control, or you missed a birth control pill. Or you were sexually assaulted or your method of birth control failed.
Furthermore, morning-after pills do not end a pregnancy that has implanted. They work primarily by delaying or preventing ovulation.
The Guidance on the Effects of Weight on Morning-after Pill
The latest report suggests that the efficiency of oral contraception might be lowered if a woman has a body mass index of as low as 26 kg/m2 or weighs over 70 kilograms. This comes at a time when more than half of UK women are thought to weigh more this.
This connection has been well established all over Europe since the year 2013, when the European Medicines Agency had the makers of EC pill Norlevo added an alert warning users that the product may be lesser effective for overweight people, specifically, women.
Indeed, a several studies have appeared to back up this claim, including a small piece of research released in July of the year 2016, wherein scientists looked at 10 women aged between 18 and 35. The participants, five of whom were of a ‘normal weight’ and five of whom were ‘obese’ according to Body Mass Index measurements. They were all given one dose of levonorgestrel-based contraception – the hormone which prevents ovulation. It’s found that the amount of the hormone present in the ‘overweight’ women was 50% less than in their lighter counterparts.
In spite of this, it actually seems that the previous guidance in the United Kingdom hasn’t been clear on the subject.
Is there a need to worry?
Firstly, nobody seems quite certain as to why weight on morning-after pill might have an effect’s success. Secondly, there does seem to be some controversy on the subject. Another report, says that there’s a significant disagreement on the data, saying that the supports in the changes are actually definitive. In the actual fact, whether EC is less effective for heavier women has no proof; the precise weight at which EC may lose efficacy is not clear and could vary for individual women. No woman should get refusal or discouragement from using EC based on her weight.”
On top of that, the EMA also announced in 2014 – just one year after warnings were put in place – that data remains too limited to conclude with certainty that the effectiveness of the morning after pill is reduced by weight.
Some other Options
One thing that experts seem to agree on is that the most effective method for contraception. This may be beneficial for up to five days after unprotected sex, irrespective of the effect of weight on morning after pill. I am talking about the IU or Intrauterine Device. The FSRH report states that all women requiring emergency contraception should be offered a copper coil if it’s appropriate.
The pharmacist is going to discuss various choices or options that are available for the emergency contraception that is available to you. This is for you to make a concise decision on what is the best for you.
Even though the copper IUD is the most efficient method to choose from. Most especially for emergency contraception, it might not be that appropriate or acceptable for women use. The use of oral emergency contraceptive like those that contain ulipristal, or levonorgestrel, are both great choices to opt to.
Effects of Weight on Morning After Pill
Research shows that using an emergency contraceptive that contains ulipristal. This includes EllaOne, is slightly more effective than using levonorgestrel as an emergency contraceptive. This is if you use it correctly within the first 24 hours after sex.
Furthermore, even though the latest guidelines from the FSRH advise that women seeking advice about EHC should be informed. They must get proper info that weight may have an impact on the efficacy taking oral emergency contraception. There is not enough evidence to suggest that oral emergency contraceptive is not an option for women over 70kg. But if you worry about taking oral emergency contraceptives and are over 70kg, it is important to discuss all your options with your pharmacist .