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Birth control pills

Emergency contraceptive pills have also been referred to as the “day-after-pills” and are an emergency solution that is available to prevent an unwanted pregnancy from occurring after unprotected intercourse.

The emergency contraceptive pill contains a high dose of a yellow body hormone, levonorgestrel, and can, if taken as soon as possible after an unprotected intercourse, prevent you from becoming pregnant. It can be used if you are afraid of becoming pregnant due to an unprotected intercourse, if the condom has broken or if you missed some birth control pills.

Birth control pills

How safe is the "day-after-pills"?

Acute birth control pills prevent around 85 percent of pregnancies, but the method is not as safe as when you used the regular birth control pill correctly.

How do emergency contraceptives work?

The hormone contained in the pill prevents or delays ovulation, which means that fertilization cannot occur. However, the method has no effect if ovulation or fertilization has already taken place.

How to get emergency contraceptive pills?

The tablets are prescription-free and can be purchased at Apoteket. For adolescents, emergency contraceptive pills can be obtained free of charge at youth clinics, maternity care centers and other contraceptive clinics.

What emergency contraceptive pills are available?

There are two different types of emergency contraceptive pills. A kind of pill that you can take up to 72 hours (three days) after an unprotected intercourse and a kind of pill that you can take up to 120 hours (five days) after an unprotected intercourse. The latter kind is a little safer than the first.

Whatever kind of emergency contraceptive pill you choose, it is good to take the tablet as soon as possible after having unprotected intercourse. The earlier you take it, the less the risk of becoming pregnant.

Both varieties can be bought at the pharmacy without a prescription. You can also get help at a youth clinic, midwife, health center, gynecology or a sex and cohabitation clinic. If you are young you can usually get emergency contraceptive pills for free at a youth clinic.

When taking an emergency contraceptive pill, it is common for men to arrive either a little earlier or later than expected. It is common to have intermediate bleeding. Whether you get your period as expected or not, you should always do a pregnancy test after three to four weeks to make sure you don't get pregnant.

After taking an emergency pill, you can feel sick, get a headache and stomach ache. It is not dangerous and usually go over after a day.

To be sure that the pill is effective, you should do a pregnancy test after three to four weeks. If the period is delayed or abnormal, one should definitely do a pregnancy test.

Are there any side effects?

Anyone can use emergency contraceptive pills even those who normally cannot use regular birth control pills. The most common side effects are bleeding, headache and nausea, but also pain in the lower abdomen, fatigue and chest tension as well as severe or delayed menstruation.

Can you use "day-after-pills" as contraceptives?

Emergency contraceptive pills should only be used as an emergency solution. They do not provide the same protection as regular contraceptives.

It is not dangerous to take emergency contraceptives several times during the same menstrual cycle, but the protective effect decreases with repeated use. In addition, irregular bleeding is at risk. If you often need emergency contraceptives, you should choose a regular birth control method instead.

Are there other options for preventing an unwanted pregnancy after unprotected intercourse?

Yes, one can insert a copper coil into the uterus within 120 hours (five days) after unprotected intercourse. In this way, almost 99 percent of the pregnancies that would otherwise occur are prevented. The copper coil makes it difficult for a fertilized egg to attach to the uterine mucosa. However, if you have a genital infection, you should avoid spiral insertion.


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