Oral Contraceptive : All About Plan A
All of us have experienced peer pressure in our lives. Remember the time we begged our parents for the trendiest phone that the other kids had? Or wanted that little black dress worn by our bestie. Well, dating for some is no different either.
You might not even realise but you don’t just date someone because you like them, but it might be because of peer pressure too. When you see all your friends have a boyfriend or a girlfriend, you can’t resist craving for a little intimacy too.
While the only conversations that happens among our peers about sex and sexuality is just the tip of an iceberg. There are alot of serious issues that go unattended due to initial hesitation in talking about it.
But what if you are on a journey to explore your sexuality and what if things take a turn for the worst? Your condom broke or you missed your periods, or you simply want to know about the alternate contraceptive options you have. No one tells you about such things during sex education classes at school. Well, what do you do?
So, here we are with a series of three articles that will explain everything about oral and physical contraceptives that you might opt depending on your comfort and need.
What is it?
Also known as hormonal pills, Plan A is 99% effective when consumed periodically. It becomes relatively less effective when you skip it for even a single day. As the name indicates it is not for emergency situations. So, having a pill after every sexual intercourse is certainly not an option here. There’s another option of only progestin pill available, but here we will mainly be focusing on the combined hormones pill.
Who all can use it?
These pills might be as easily available as condoms but shouldn’t really be used that casually, as it can directly affect your hormonal levels. These pills might not suit everyone, especially people with Thyroid or PCOS, so it’s best to consult a doctor before getting on the course.
Note: The doctor should not be your local pharmacist.
Visiting a gynaecologist could be a little intimidating at first but in the long run it is for your best interest!
When can you use it?
You can use these pills at any age after you attain puberty and have your menstrual cycles regularly with no other health issues. The course can be started at any time of the month or in any phase of the cycle. Just make sure to consume the pill daily. And it is advisable to consume it close to the same time every day so that you develop a habit and don’t skip one.
In the beginning, it is recommended to use another method along with the pill, like a condom, to be on the safe side. You can also consult your doctor to know more about hormonal pills and if it’s the right contraceptive method for you.
How to use it?
Now you have 2 options available here the 28 day course and the 21 day course.
Starting with the 28 day pack you will have to take one pill each day in the month. For the first three weeks you will be on hormonal pills but generally the last 7 days(the duration varies from brand to brand) you take non hormonal pills which are usually health supplements and meant for the sake of not breaking your routine and remembering to start with a new pack on time. In the last days of the month when you have consumed non hormonal pills you will have your periods. You don’t need to worry you will still be protected on those days as well.
The 21 day course consists only of the hormonal pills and are supposed to be consumed for the first three weeks. Since you have no hormone free pill here it is crucial to consume one pill a day regularly. The time when you will be off the pills you will get your periods. Again, you will be protected in those days too. Just simply start over with a new pack after the end of your period.
Where do you get it from?
In India you can easily find it in any pharmacy even without a prescription, but we do not encourage you to do that for your own wellbeing. You can also get these at any government health or family planning centres.
Plan A contraceptive do not have much side effects unless you have a family history of heart diseases or high BP. The common side effects are similar to those in menstruation cycle like mood swings, cramping, breast tenderness etc. However, it does not suit everyone. Some people witness abnormal hair growth on their body while some experience nausea and fatigue, in the beginning, when starting with their first pack. Always consult your doctor first and then take an informed decision.
Next week we will come up with another blog for emergency situations. Meanwhile, if you have any questions related to Plan A pills, let us know in the comments below!