Birth Control Methods (cont.)

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What is emergency contraception?

Emergency contraception is a medication or device used to prevent pregnancy after unprotected intercourse has occurred. Emergency hormonal contraceptives are sometimes known as "morning after" pills. These drugs prevent pregnancy if taken within 72 hours after intercourse. This is also known as emergency contraception. Insertion of a copper intrauterine device (IUD) is also an effective method of emergency contraception.

Side effects of emergency contraception or "morning after" pills can include

What are IUDs (intrauterine devices)?

IUDs or intrauterine devices are implantable devices that create an environment in the lining tissues of the womb that is unfavorable for implantation of a fertilized egg.

Side effects of IUDs depend on the type of IUD being used.

  • Copper-containing IUDs may worsen menstrual bleeding and cramps.
  • Puncture or perforation of the uterus is a rare complication of all IUDs.
  • IUDs that contain hormones may cause similar side effects to hormonal contraceptives, like headaches, breast tenderness, acne, or headaches.

REFERENCES: Birth control methods fact sheet. Unintended pregnancy prevention.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 6/24/2015

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