Although they are different, birth control and the morning after pill do have some similarities. You might wonder if they are essentially the same thing; after all, the goal of both birth control and the morning after pill is to prevent pregnancy. There are side effects to each one and ultimately, they have specific effects that are not expressly mentioned in marketing materials.
But what are some of the differences between the morning after pill and birth control? Read on to find out.
GOALS AND EFFECTS
Both the morning after pill and birth control aim to prevent pregnancy and, in some cases, stop the continuation of a developing pregnancy. The “Morning After Pill” is a medication taken up to 72 hours after unprotected sex to prevent ovulation, fertilization and can even block a fertilized egg from implanting into the uterus. It is primarily marketed as emergency contraception. The main active ingredient in the morning after pill is levonorgestrel.
There are several birth control methods, but for the purposes of this article, we’ll focus on hormonal birth control options and IUDS. Most hormonal birth control pills use high doses of synthetic hormones that mimic estrogen and progesterone. Levonorgestrel which is found in the morning after pill, is also used in hormonal birth control, typically in lower doses. Hormonal birth control prevents pregnancy by blocking ovulation and thinning the uterine wall, making the environment hostile to a growing embryo.
The core differences between the morning after pill and hormonal birth control is when they are used and the active synthetic hormone doses. As stated above, the morning after pill is marketed for emergency contraceptive use only and is not meant for continual use. Most hormonal birth control pills, on the other hand, are supposed to be taken every day.
The morning after pill uses higher doses of progestins than hormonal birth control. The active ingredient levonorgestrel prevents the egg from releasing from the ovaries but, importantly, can also affect the lining of the uterus. If you wish to avoid any abortifacient effects, this is something to consider. Although neither the morning after pill or birth control are targeted as abortifacient medications, there are some problematic implications of using them.
The side effects for hormonal birth control include menstrual changes (sometimes even preventing them altogether), mood swings, weight gain, headache, nausea, and more. Some forms of hormonal birth control like intrauterine devices also increase the risk of developing pelvic inflammatory disease.
Side effects of the morning after pill are the same as for hormonal birth control, including spotting or bleeding in between periods. These side effects are due to the synthetic doses of hormones that are not typically produced naturally.
These side effects, in addition to problematic purposes, are important things to keep in mind about both the morning after pill and hormonal birth control.
YOU HAVE OPTIONS
Unsure about your options or want more information on the side effects of birth control? Schedule your free consultation with our team at Clearway Clinic today.