top of page

Can I Use An Emergency Contraceptive Pill With Other Medical Conditions

Emergency contraception pill (ECP) is a vital component of reproductive health, offering a solution to prevent unintended pregnancies after unprotected sex or contraceptive failure. However, for individuals with certain medical conditions, the decision to take an ECP is not straightforward. This blog delves into the nuances of using an ECP with other health concerns.



Understanding Emergency Contraceptive Pill

An emergency contraceptive pill (ECP), often known as the morning-after pill or plan b, is a birth control or contraception method that helps prevent an unintended pregnancy after unprotected sex (when no contraception was used) or contraceptive failure (for example, when the condom breaks, slips, or leaks during sex).

levonorgestrel emergency contraceptive pill or ecp or morning after pill or plan b or ipill or unwanted pill

The most commonly used pill in India is the single pill or dose containing 1.5mg of Levonorgestrel (LNG), which is a synthetic progestogen that mimics the female hormone progesterone. It works primarily by preventing or delaying ovulation, and is most effective when as soon as possible within 72 hours after the first episode of unprotected sex or contraceptive failure has occurred.


Due to the high dose of progestogen in the ECP, it is recommended for use only during emergencies and not as a regular contraceptive method.



Restrictions For Using An Emergency Contraceptive Pill With Medical Conditions


According to World Health Organization (WHO): there are no restrictions for who can use an ECP.

who can or cannot use emergency contraceptive pill or ecp or morning after pill or plan b or ipill or unwanted pill


However, frequent and repeated ECP use may be harmful for women with certain medical conditions:


1. Migraines

For individuals experiencing migraines, the use of oral contraceptive pills or birth control pills is generally discouraged due to an increased risk of stroke. However, LNG ECP does not carry this risk and is considered safe when used for emergencies. Repeated or frequent use of LNG ECP by women who experience migraines is not recommended.


2. Obesity

For individuals with obesity or higher body mass index (BMI), whose body mass index is more than 30 kg/m2, the effectiveness of an LNG ECP may be reduced. But there are no safety concerns. Obese women should not be denied access to ECP when they need it. However, alternative method like inserting a copper IUD might be more effective and is recommended by WHO for women with a higher BMI.


3. History of severe cardiovascular disease

People with a history of cardiovascular diseases or thromboembolic disorders, including deep vein thrombosis and stroke, should be cautious with using hormonal contraceptives like oral contraceptive pills or birth control pills. While LNG ECP is deemed safer because it is used for a very short duration and at a low hormone dose, repeated use of LNG ECP by women with a history of these conditions, is not recommended.


4. Breastfeeding and post-delivery

While LNG ECP can be used during breastfeeding, repeated or frequent ECP use is usually not advisable for women who are breastfeeding or are <42 days post-partum or -delivery.


5. Severe liver disease (including jaundice)

Severe liver disease impacts the body’s ability to metabolize hormones effectively. WHO guidelines suggest that individuals with severe liver impairment should generally avoid using hormonal ECPs unless deemed safe by a doctor.

avoid repeated and frequent use of emergency contraceptive pill or ecp or morning after pill or plan b or ipill or unwanted pill with these medical conditions


Conclusion

Using an emergency contraceptive pill (ECP) with existing medical conditions requires informed decision-making. Consulting a doctor, understanding the risks, and considering personal health are crucial steps. This blog aims to provide a starting point for those conversations, ensuring everyone can navigate their contraceptive choices with confidence.



Important

This blog, including its text, images, and infographics, are for educational purposes only and not a substitute for professional medical advice. For personalized advice, always consult a doctor.



Further Reading

For more details on this or related topics, refer to the papers listed in references below, the FAQs on the ECP page, or other blogs on the Learn page of our website dulycare.in.



References

  • World Health Organization (WHO). Emergency Contraception. 2021.

  • World Health Organization (WHO). Medical eligibility criteria for contraceptive use. 2015.

Comments


bottom of page