Have you wondered why your pharmacists prefer to address ‘Morning After Pill’ as ‘Emergency Contraceptive Pill’ (ECP)? That is because ECP should only be used as the last resort (after an unprotected sex) and not routinely. This is because:
The most effective ECP. Ulipristal Acetate is effective up to 120 days (5 days)
This type works best when taken within 72 hours (3 days)
Levonorgestrel pills do not work as well after 72 hours (3 days). No matter when you take it, ulipristal acetate is more effective than levonorgestrel.
Levonorgestrel works less well for those weighing more than 70kg (155 pounds). Ulipristal works well for women up to 88.5kg (195 pounds)
Levonorgestrel does not affect breast milk. Lactating mother needs to pump and discard breast milk for 36 hours after taking ulipristal acetate.
This brings us to the main focus of this article: Oral Contraceptive Pill (OCP)
Combined Oral Contraceptive pills contain two hormones: Estrogen and Progestin
As the name suggests, Progestin-Only Pills contain only Progestin
Generally, COC is preferred because COC allows less strict adherence to dosing times. A COC pill is considered ‘missed’ when you do not take it for 24 hours or more after you were supposed to. POP only allows 3 to 12 hours (depending on the type of POP) window to take your pill. COC also benefits women with acne problems.
However, POP might be the choice over COC for women with the following conditions:
There are different formulations of COC and POP available. COC, as an example, comes in different pack sizes (21 to 28 tablets), different doses (20 to 35 micrograms of ethinylestradiol) and different types of progestin (Desogestrel, Drosperinone, Levonorgestrel). Be sure to check with your pharmacist on which oral contraceptive pill is the best for you!