domingo, 25 de mayo de 2008

The Post Day Pill

What is the morning-after pill?
The morning-after pill stops you from becoming pregnant if contraception failed or wasn't used.Although lots of people talk about the morning-after pill, this term is actually misleading. In reality, the pill works for up to 72 hours (three days) after sex.But the earlier you take it, the better: the morning-after pill works best if taken within 24 hours of unprotected sex.The medicine currently used in Europe and the US is called Levonelle one step or Levonelle 1500. It contains a female-type hormone called levonorgestrel - which is one of the ingredients of several types of contraceptive pill.Medical professionals will often call it the post-coital pill (PCP) or emergency contraceptive (EC).
How does it work?
It's believed Levonelle works by:
- preventing your ovaries from releasing an egg
- altering the lining of the womb, so a fertilised egg can't embed itself there.
In Britain and many western countries it is regarded as an emergency contraceptive, not an abortion-causing drug - it won't work if you are already pregnant.
Is it effective?
The morning-after pill is not 100 per cent effective, but the failure rate is quite low. It's probably about 10 per cent, and rather better than that if you take it as early as possible.
Who is it useful for?
The morning-after pill is now widely used by women who have had unprotected sex. In particular, it has proved of value to:
- rape victims, who should insist they are given it (unfortunately, UK doctors who examine women have sometimes been slow to prescribe it)
- couples who have a condom break during sex
- women who have been lured into having sex while under the influence of drink or drugs.
Is it dangerous to use?
Not at all. If anybody tells you that it has 'lots of side-effects' or 'makes you really sick', don't believe them. The older form of PCP used in the 1990s did often cause nausea, but today's pill causes very little trouble. You may feel a bit sick after taking it, but only about 1 woman in every 60 actually throws up. If you do vomit within three hours of taking Levonelle, you should assume its effect has been lost, and get another one from a doctor or pharmacist.
Uncommon side-effects, which as a GP I've hardly ever seen, include:
- headache
- tummy ache
- breast tenderness
- vaginal 'spotting' of blood
- dizziness.
Is there anyone who shouldn’t take it?
There are some women who shouldn't take the post-coital pill. They include people with severe liver disease and people with a very rare condition called porphyria. But for nearly everyone, Levonelle is fine and most unlikely to cause any significant problems.The herbal medicine St John's wort reduces its effectiveness. If you take St John's wort, your doctor may want to prescribe a larger dose of the pill.
Any other warnings?

- Your next period may come early or late. If it doesn't arrive within a couple of days of the expected time, see a doctor.
- The morning-after pill does not protect you from pregnancy for the rest of your menstrual cycle. So either abstain from sex or use a barrier method like a condom.
- The morning-after pill is not good at protecting against ectopic pregnancies
, although these are rare. If you get lower tummy pain or abnormal bleeding in the weeks after using it, see your doctor.

Post Day Pill: Women's Decision

How it is already known, a group of 36 members of the parliament, supported by the Catholic Church, presented to the TC (tribunal constitucional) a resource to proclaim the Norms of Fertility Regulation unconstitutional with the purpose of banishing not only the post day pill but also the IUD (intrauterine device) such as the copper T and most of the contraceptive pills of regular use. These are practically the total amount of contraceptive methods used by women nowadays.
Because of this, the TC emitted a release where it was announced the admission of the unconstitutionality of the post day pill. This verdict prohibited the pill distribution in public hospitals and some drugstores. So now only people that can pay for the pill can get it. This fact is very serious because women that are not able to pay for the pill will not have the methods to prevent unwanted pregnancy.
So, if all scientific evidence shows that the post day pill is not abortive, on what criteria-based did the members of the TC take this decision? This verdict is crearly influenced by the Catholic Church and the Right Wing Party and their extremely conservative mind. This is an arbitrary and authoritarian act as is trying to impose the vision of a minor group of people in sexuality and reproduction matters to all population, violating women's right to decide about their sexuality, the amount of children they want to have and their spacing.

This is why we reject the TC's decision and we demand a society where we can decide what contraceptive methods to use, how many children to give birth and to have save and pleasurable sex without the risk of having an unwanted pregnancy.