Emergency Contraceptive Pill – Morning After Pill: An illustrated Helpful Guide for South Africa

Emergency Contraceptive Pill – Morning After Pill: An illustrated Helpful Guide. Have you had unprotected sex? Did the condom fail? You can try to prevent a pregnancy by using an emergency contraceptive pill otherwise known as – morning after pill.

Emergency Contraceptive Pill – Morning After Pill is a pill taken up to 72 hours after unprotected sex or failed protection. It works by changing the chemical composition of your vaginal canal. When this happens the sperms can not swim to reach female eggs and fertilize them. You therefore can not get pregnant. Emergency pill only works, if the egg is not fertilized. It can not stop a fertilized egg from becoming a full fledged pregnancy.

The most common emergency contraceptive pill or morning after pill is called Levonorgestrel or Plan B.

Courtesy: Parents – Youtube.com – How Your Eggs get fertilized. Emergency contraception stops this from happening. It stops the sperms from swimming to the eggs.

Levonorgestrel or Plan B

This emergency contraceptive is used from a few hours after sex up to not more than 120 hours after sex. The longer you take to take the morning after pill, the more likely for it not to work. If you hope to take this pill 4 days after unprotected sex and you think it will be of any value to you. It will not.

Emergency contraception only works if the sperm has not fertilized the egg and therefore you are not pregnant. If it has already fertilized your eggs, hard luck.

If a man sperms in you it is not automatic that the sperms will immediately fertilize your eggs. No. In actual fact you can have sperms logged in you to up to a week. During this period you can get pregnant. So, you can get pregnant from as soon as you have had sex to up to several days after.

How does the Emergency Contraception Work – How does Levonorgestrel work?

What this emergency pill does is to limit the migration of the sperms to the eggs. It stops the sperms reaching the uterine area and therefore can not reach the eggs and cause fertilization.

One way of doing this is to change the chemical make up of the woman’s system. This kills off the sperms and they cease being fertile.

If the sperms are not fertile they can not fertilize the female eggs and therefore a woman can not become pregnant.

Emergency Contraception Pill Effectiveness

Morning after pill is as good as when you use it. If you use it before fertilization of your egg it will stop the sperms from swimming and therefore you will not become pregnant.

If you use it after the egg has been fertilized then it is not effective. Morning after pill does not stop a pregnancy to continue if it has already happened.

Remember all it does is to change your chemical composition that allows the sperms to swim. If the sperms have reached the destination then there is nothing the morning after pill do to stop the pregnancy.

Morning After Pill is a guess work process at best. Take it after unprotected sex and hope for the best. Test after 2 weeks and see if it worked. It is effective before fertilization happens and it is useless after fertilization.

Can Morning After Pill (Levonorgestrel) be used for Abortion?

No. If you are pregnant there is nothing the pill will do. The pill only works if your eggs have not been fertilized.

There is therefore a chance that you will be late and use the morning after pill long after you are pregnant. Your eggs can be fertilized any minute after sex. It can be within minutes, it can be hours and can be a couple of days. It all depends on whether your eggs are ready or not. If they are ready you will be pregnant quite quickly and a day after sex the morning after pill will be a waste of money.

But you do not know, if you are pregnant or not. So, you can go ahead and use them after sex in the hope that you are not pregnant as yet. It is guess work and hope. It may or may not work.

If you are pregnant then tough. You have to terminate with other pills called abortion pills.

Morning after pills will not lead to abortion.

Morning After Pill
Morning after Pill

Can I use Levonorgestrel for prevention of pregnancy?

Morning after pills are not prevention pills. Do not depend on these pills as a method of protecting you from falling pregnant. You will be disappointed.

As already discussed they may fail you. The pills depend on how quick there is implantation of the sperm into your eggs. If this happens quickly then you are pregnant whether you take the morning after pill or not.

So there is a very high chance that the morning after pill will not work. As such use other pregnancy prevention methods. Morning after pill has a very high probability of failing. Morning are an emergency contraception with a high failure rate.

Can I get Pregnant after Taking the Morning After Pill

It depends on when you take the pill. If you take it after 3 days have elapsed after sex then you can get pregnant. It means you are late.

If you take it before fertilization but after unprotected sex then it is effective.

I took the Morning After Pill and then had unprotected

Morning After Pill is not a contraception. It does not protect you before sex. It protects you after unprotected sex. If you take it before sex – hard luck. You have to repeat the process after unprotected sex otherwise you may get pregnant if your eggs are ready.

Unprotected sex leads to pregnancy but it does not mean that whenever you have unprotected sex you get pregnant. The eggs must be ready for fertilization for pregnancy to happen.

How do I know the Emergency Contraception Pill worked?

The only way to know that it worked is by testing after two weeks. Test for pregnancy. Pregnancy testing kits are in all pharmacies and supermarkets. The best testing kit is called Clearblue.

But do not attribute to your being not pregnant to the morning after pill only. It is possible your eggs where not ready.

Signs Morning After Pill Failed

A morning after pill stops fertilization. It does not stop a fertilized egg from turning into a full blown pregnancy.

So if you are having pregnancy signs like morning sickness, tender breasts and the likes then you took the morning after pill after fertilization.

Pregnancy symptoms after taking morning after pill are a sign you were late in take the emergency contraception pill.

The conclusive way to know is to test with a pregnancy testing kit. These are cheap and you will get them in pharmacies through out South Africa.

I took Morning After Pill and still got Pregnant

You took the pill after the egg had been fertilized. This means that the pill could do nothing about it. Remember the morning after pill stops ovulation or stops the sperms from swimming and reaching the egg.

If the sperms have already reached the destination then the pill is useless. But this all happens inside your body. You just take the pill and hope for the best. If you are late hard luck. You either choose to continue with the pregnancy or abort. The choice is yours.

Vonel Pill | Vonel Emergency Contraceptive

It is actually called Novel. A novel emergency contraceptive is effective and well tolerated up to 120 hours after unprotected sexual intercourse. It is for women who want up to 5 days after unprotected sex to protect.

It is effective in stopping a pregnancy from happening after unprotected sex.

Morning After Pill South Africa

You will be able to find Morning After pill in almost all South Africa pharmacies from Clicks, Dischem to small corner pharmacies. Most pills contain Levonorgestrel.

It is sold over the counter. But to only the person who is going to use it. It is not given to a third party.

You will be required to sign a legal document at the pharmacy. This is true with big brand pharmacies. It is a government requirement.

This is to ensure that you asked for the pill, otherwise you turn around accuse the pharmacy of giving a drug that stopped you from getting pregnant when you wanted to.

The requirements above happen at major branded pharmacies. Corner pharmacies will not take you through hoops.

How much is Morning after Pill in South Africa?

It depends on where you are buying it. It is cheaper in major pharmacies such as Dischem and Clicks. But these have regulations which you have to adhere to, to get the morning after pill.

But the price will never be same. South African does not accept uniform pricing for anything. Budget R100 and you should be good.

Expect to pay more at non branded pharmacies, but the pill is easier to get there.

names (types) of morning after pill in south africa


most effective morning after pill in south africa

norlevo morning after pill south africa

Ella in South Africa

Ella is thought to work for emergency contraception primarily by stopping or delaying the release of an egg from the ovary, so no egg will be available for a sperm to fertilize. It is possible that Ella may also work by preventing attachment (implantation) to the uterus.

Ella is an American product and you will struggle to get it in South Africa. Be that as it may, there other pills that will help after unprotected sex.

Escapelle Emergency Contraceptive Pill South Africa

This morning after pill is available in pharmacies in South Africa. It is taken as a single pill and it is very effective if taken within 72 hours of unprotected sex.

HIV Morning After Pill South Africa

If you are HIV positive and had unprotected sex you will get the same morning after pill like a person who is not HIV positive.

Go to you pharmacy and ask for a Morning After Pill. Do not mention the HIV status because it is unnecessary.

Morning after pill stops fertilization of your eggs whether you are positive or not.

What are the Emergency Contraception Side effects in South Africa?

The side effects are the same like everywhere around the world. This is because the medication is either the same or it has the same chemical composition.

The side effects usually last for a few days. These are the side effects:

  • Nausea or vomiting.
  • Dizziness.
  • Fatigue.
  • Headache.
  • Breast tenderness.
  • Bleeding between periods or heavier menstrual bleeding.
  • Lower abdominal pain or cramps.

Do you need a prescription for the morning after pill in South Africa?

No you do not need a prescription. You just head to the pharmacy and you will be assisted less the prescription.

Emergency Contraceptives – 72 or 120 hours South Africa

The best time to take morning after pills is 24 hours after sex. That is whn it is most effective. If late it should be 72 hours and the very latest it is 120 hours.

The hormone levonorgestrel, at a dose of 1500 micrograms, is taken as soon as possible after unprotected sex. This is supplied as either two tablets (two x 75mg).

In South Africa you can get it as Plan B or as Postinor-2 (two tablets).

Can I get Morning After Pill at Pharmacies like Clicks or Dischem?

Yes, you will be able to get the morning after pill at Clicks or Dischem. But it will only be given to the person who is going to use it. The reasoning is that they will subject you to some kind of interview.

The aim of the interview is to ensure you that you actually need it. It is controlled medicine which you can get though without a prescription. You do not need a prescription to get it. But be ready for some intrusive questioning. That is what the law demands.

But you will be able to get it over the counter in all South African pharmacies. There are just a few hoops to jump through, if you want to get it from a major brand pharmacy.

Should the Plan B morning after Pill be available to 15-year-olds,/ 16 year olds, 17 / year olds?

This article is actually written for the South African community. Pharmacies in South Africa, give the morning after pills to only teens who come with Parents or Guardians.

That is the regulation. Big brand pharmacies follow these regulations often to the letter.

Like most Government regulations they do not think through the rules they put to society.

A teen has high levels of mistakes. If teens do not get immediate help you get teen mothers. Teens do not ask permission from parents to have sex. So, it is foolhardy to expect them to go to parents after sex to seek help.

To go around the regulations avoid big brand pharmacies and go to corner pharmacies. The single village pharmacies or small town pharmacies. You will be able to get all you want.

Can I get Plan B or Morning After Pill for Free

No. You can get all kinds of contraception even abortion for free in Government hospitals in South Africa but NOT Plan B.

It will be putting to much on the the health system that is already struggling. Lines in clinics made up of women who had unprotected sex the night or day before, looking for free morning after pill would break the health system.

Go to a pharmacy and pay something. It is the right thing to do. It is affordable.

What happens After the Morning after Pill

You are not out of the woods as yet. There is a chance that you are pregnant despite taking the morning after pill.

Remember we said the morning after pill only works if your egg is not fertilized by the time you take the morning after pill. If, implantation has taken place then it is a waste. But, you do not know and you need to find out..

So, after taking the morning after pill know that there is a chance that you are pregnant. Prepare for that possibility.

A week or so after sex and you suspect pregnancy then test. All pharmacies and supermarket have pregnancy test kits. These range from cheap kits to expensive ones.

Clearblue is the best testing kit out there. It tests for pregnancy hormones as early as one week after falling pregnant. It is available in pharmacies and big supermarkets (money counter).

The pregnancy test kits will tell you your fate. You will know whether you are pregnant or not, and decide the way forward.

Clearblue - best test kit
Pregnancy Test Kit at your pharmacy

If pregnant then what?

You have to decide quickly what is the way forward. Do not drag your feet after you realize that you are pregnant.

Pregnancy keeps growing every day. It does not sit around and wait for you to decide whether you are keeping it or not.

If you are going to keep it, then there is no problem at all. Congratulations. Just go on with your life. 9 months down the line you will be a proud mother.

If you are not going to keep it then decide as soon as possible when you will terminate it. Abortion is legal in South Africa but it is not open ended. There are laws that govern it.

You can terminate without questions and reason between 1 week and 12 weeks. When you are within this period you can easily get help in hospitals and from all private service providers. After 12 weeks things start getting tough. Government hospitals my reject you.

It is therefore critical to know what you will do as soon as possible.

Emergency Contraceptive Pill – Morning After Pill

The most common morning after pill is called Plan B or Levonorgestrel .

It works from 1 hour to 72 hours after sex.

You can not use it as a daily prevention method against pregnancy. It is an emergency measure that can fail. The emergency contraception pills fail quite often.

It does not terminate your pregnancy if you are already pregnant.

You can get it at a pharmacy. Only given to a user and not a third party. If you send your boyfriend to collect it for you, there are chances he will not get it.

After using the morning after pill and you still find you are pregnant, you can talk to us:

Call or WhatsApp: +27 61 067 8310

Email: help@womens-choice.co.za

Dr Rene Musa - I am a professional doctor specializing in termination of pregnancy. I specialized in women reproductive health to ensure that women have a chance to terminate safely. Having children should be a choice and not an accident. If you are not ready you should not have babies. Women, regardless of age should be free to choose when they want to become parents. I have over 15 years of safe termination of pregnancy experience. Do you need help? WhatsApp +27 61 067 8310 now.
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