Emergency Contraception: IUD vs Plan-B Pills

Emergency Contraception: IUD vs Plan-B Pills

Emergency Contraception: IUD vs Plan-B Pills

Emergency contraception is a form of birth control that prevents pregnancy after sex. It’s also called “morning after contraception.” Emergency contraception can be used if you had unprotected sex or if you think your birth control failed. However, it does not protect against sexually transmitted diseases or infections. Emergency contraception can be used immediately after intercourse and can be used up to five days after sex (three days in some cases).


All forms of emergency contraception make it much less likely that you will get pregnant, but it’s not nearly as effective as regularly using birth control, such as birth control pills or condoms.


Emergency contraception is safe to use, though some individuals may have adverse reactions to different forms.


There are currently two forms of emergency contraception; hormonal emergency contraception and the insertion of a copper IUD.


Hormonal Emergency Contraception – Plan B Pill

Hormonal emergency contraception is frequently called “the morning after pill.” It is the most well-known form of emergency contraception. According to Planned Parenthood, it reduces the risk of pregnancy by up to 95 percent.


The biggest advantage of this form of emergency birth control is that Progestin-only emergency contraception can be accessed without a prescription. However, it is less effective than emergency IUD contraception by a small percentage – and it’s important to consider the side effects it can have by being a hormonal-based solution.


How does it work? Because pregnancy doesn’t occur immediately after sex, hormonal emergency contraception pills still have time to prevent it. Emergency contraception pills reduce likelihood of pregnancy by preventing the ovary from releasing an egg for longer than usual.

The morning after pill does not cause an abortion. It prevents pregnancy from ever occurring.

It is safe for most women to take hormonal emergency contraception, though it’s always a good idea to ask your doctor about interactions with other medications if possible.


Possible side effects may include:

·         nausea

·         abdominal pain

·         unexpected bleeding or spotting, sometimes up until your next period

·         fatigue

·         headache

·         dizziness

·         vomiting

·         breast tenderness


Non-Hormonal Emergency Contraception- The Copper IUD

A copper IUD can be used as emergency contraception if inserted within five days after unprotected sex. The IUD will need to be inserted by a healthcare provider. Emergency IUD insertion reduces the risk of pregnancy by 99 percent. They are available only by prescription.


It’s important to note that only copper IUDs are effective immediately as emergency contraception. They can also be left in for up to 10 years, providing lasting and highly effective birth control. This means that other hormonal IUDs are not to be used as emergency contraception.

The biggest advantage of this method of emergency birth control is that it is more effective than hormonal emergency contraception pills by a small percentage – and is (of course) hormone-free. Also remember that once inserted, you will be further protected against unwanted pregnancy by up to 5 years.


The biggest downfall must be that it requires both a prescription and doctor’s appointment for insertion.


How does the cooper IUD work as emergency contraception? 


Copper IUDs work by releasing copper into the uterus and fallopian tubes, which acts as a spermicide. It may prevent implantation when used for emergency contraception, though this has not been proven. The copper IUD insertion is the most effective form of emergency birth control.


Some side effects may include:

·         discomfort during insertion

·         cramping

·         spotting, and heavier periods

·         dizziness


If you’re looking for the most effective form of emergency birth control, as well as  long-acting, reversible contraceptive – click here to get in touch with us for professional advice today!

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