Contraception, also known as birth control, refers to the methods and techniques used to prevent pregnancy by interfering with the process of fertilisation and/or implantation of a fertilised egg. Contraception aims to provide individuals and couples with control over their reproductive choices and the timing of pregnancies.
There are various methods of contraception available such as condoms, contraceptive pills, IUDs, but here we will focus on the contraceptive pill and morning after pill.
Contraceptive pill (Birth Control Pill)
Contraceptive pills, also known as birth control pills, are taken regularly on a daily basis to prevent pregnancy by suppressing ovulation (the release of an egg from the ovaries) and altering the cervical mucus to impede sperm movement.
There are two main types of oral contraceptives : combined contraceptives containing both oestrogen and progesterone) and progesterone-only pills (mini-pills). They both provide ongoing contraception and are meant to be used as a long-term method of preventing pregnancy.
Morning-After Pill (Emergency Contraception)
The morning-after pill, also known as emergency contraception, is used to prevent pregnancy after unprotected sexual intercourse or contraceptive failure (e.g., condom breakage). Some morning-after pills are effective up to 72 hours (3 days) after intercourse, while others may be effective up to 120 hours (5 days) after. While morning-after pills can significantly reduce your risk of pregnancy, they are not as effective as regular methods of contraception.