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A couple of months back my husband and I had a 'split condom experience' so we decided to use the morning after pill (MAP).
How I Got It ----------------- There is no longer any need to go to your GP to get the morning after pill (although you can if you want) as pharmacies are now allowed to sell them over the counter. I went to my local pharmacy, asked for the morning after pill and was led into a side-room where the pharmacist asked me a few health-related questions. He warned me that the MAP was not 100% effective and checked that I was within the 72-hour time slot and then took me out to the tills. £25 later (steep, but not as expensive as raising a child) I was sent on my way with Levonelle One-Step, which is made by Schering. The MAP comes with a detailed booklet with all the info on it, but I've also included some of it here.
The Science Bit ---------------------- How Levonelle works depends on where you are in your cycle. It can stop an egg being released, stop sperm from fertilising an egg or stop a fertilised egg from attaching itself to the lining of your womb. It is not designed to be a regular method of contraception or to protect against STDs. It should be taken within 72 hours of intercourse and the sooner you take it the more chance you have of it succeeding - it is 95% effective if taken within 24 hours, 85% effective if taken before 48 hours and 58% effective if taken within 72 hours. Levonelle was redesigned recently so that it now comes as just one pill and the active ingredient is the hormone levonorgestrel.
Side Effects ---------------- The main side effects are sickness and headaches. If you vomit within three hours of taking Levonelle, you are recommended to go and get another tablet and take it again. The hormones Levonelle contain can also affect your cycle, making your period late, early or painful. There can also be irregular bleeding until your next period.
Medical Issues --------------------- Your pharmacist will go through these with you in full, but the effectiveness of Levonelle can be reduced if you are taking certain medications (eg barbituates, TB medication, certain HIV treatments and St Johns Wort). The pharmacist will also ask you if there's a possibility you are already pregnant, if your last period was unusual, if you have a history of liver or bowel disease or if you have any allergies.
Under 16? --------------- You can still be prescribed the MAP, but it needs to be done through your GP or the Family Planning Centre. Out of hours, you can also go to your local A&E department.
Conclusion ---------------- I was amongst the 5% that the MAP does not work for. When my period was a few days late I did a pregnancy test to put my mind at ease. It came up positive. I'd had no side effects and I'd taken the pill within 12 hours of sex, so we were quite surprised! However, after the initial shock had worn off we talked about our options, decided we didn't want to go through an abortion and are now proud (and scared) parents-to-be! Despite it not working for me, I think that a 95% sucess rate is pretty good so I would still recommend it.
Update - we recently found out that I am expecting twins! Talk about double whammy!
How interesting. A 'surprise' baby is a gift. Hope all goes well for your family. xxx
mrsmopples 29.04.2006 12:52
Darling, its mean't to be and you will not regret having this little one. Yes I know they are expensive but to have your own child is a true gift from God. Mind you I feel put off by coming away from the pill, I wanted a break and thought we could use your method but you have showed that things dont go to plan sometimes. It wasn't the Durex Gold Coins by any chance ? Keep in touch and enjoy this baby. xx