A nasty rumor seems to have spread about Emergency Contraception. It has become a common misconception that pills like Plan B, or ‘The Morning After Pill’, work by causing abortions. For the record, that is absolutely not true. Misunderstandings happen, but this big misunderstanding is beginning to take a toll on women’s access to contraceptive options so it’s time we all help set the record straight.
By definition, Emergency Contraception (EC) is a, “postcoital contraception, [consisting] of the same hormones found in ordinary birth control pills. When taken in a concentrated dose within 72 hours after unprotected intercourse, these hormones can prevent a pregnancy from occurring.”
EC works in a few different ways, but first you need to understand a few quarks about conception. Sperm can live in the uterus for up to 5 days. This means that egg cells could be fertilized up to 5 days after unprotected sex. EC works because it prevents an egg from being released into the uterus (otherwise known as ovulation). If ovulation has already occurred and the egg has been released, EC thickens mucus inside the uterus trapping the sperm cells and preventing successful fertilization. Studies show that EC does not have any effect on already fertilized and implanted egg cells.
Now you know! There is still opposition to EC, but do not be swayed by misinformation. We are all entitled to our own beliefs, but not to our own facts.