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The Truths & Lies About Emergency Contraception

Compulsory Sexual and Reproductive Health education cannot come (no pun intended) quickly enough. When I discuss the menstrual cycle with women in the sexual health clinic, some look mystified whilst others look horrified. What day of your cycle are you on or when did you start your period? Some shrug, others groan and those that are organised make a few clicks on an app on their phones. A lack of understanding about menstruation is a huge sign that women are failing to understand how emergency contraception works or how it will not work in certain circumstances. On that note - it is time to get woke about emergency contraception.

The emergency contraceptive pill is the most effective method of contraception.

Nope, the most effective emergency contraception is the copper intrauterine device (IUD). This can be inserted by a trained practitioner usually at a sexual health clinic up to five days after unprotected sex or five days after the earliest date of ovulation (that would be day 14 of a regular 28 day cycle). It stops implantation and there are no hormonal side effects but it may make periods heavier. If you don’t want to keep the IUD long term, then it can be removed after a negative pregnancy test three weeks after it is fitted.