Contraception advice: contraceptive sponge and the day after pill

Contraceptive sponge

What is a contraceptive sponge?

  • It is a small sponge made from polyurethane and filled with spermicidal;
  • They have a thread for easy removal;
  • Before insertion, they have to be moistened and they are applied 24h before the sexual intercourse;
  • It has to be removed six hours after the intercourse; if it stays longer, an infection could occur.

What are the advantages?

  • There are no side effects;
  • It helps prevent cervical cancer.

What are the disadvantages?

  • It doesn’t protect from sexually transmitted diseases;
  • It can unreliable; it requires careful handling;
  • Sometimes it interrupts the intercourse because of contraception appliances;
  • It cannot be used during a menstrual period.

The level of effectiveness of the contraceptive sponge is 75 – 90%.

The day after pill

What is immediate hormonal contraception?

There are two types of hormonal contraception:

  • The pill that contains progesterone;
  • The pill that contains estrogen;
  • The woman takes the pill after the couple had sex without contraception or if the contraception was ineffective;
  • Two pills are required after the unprotected intercourse until the next 72 hours pass, but they are a lot more effective if they are taken two hours after the intercourse;
  • Both types of pills are taken in the same way; the first one is taken as soon as possible, while the second one is taken after 12 hours;
  • Their performance is to prevent ovulation and stop the eggs to enter the uterus;
  • By looking at the available statistics, this type of contraception is 95% effective if it is taken within 24 hours, 85% effective if it is taken within 24-48 hours and 58% if it is taken within 48-72 hours after the intercourse.

The contraception won’t be successful if:

  • The pills were taken 72 hours after the intercourse;
  • Vomiting occurs 3 hours after taking the pills;
  • The second pill is not taken;
  • If there was unprotected intercourse at some other time since the last menstrual period.

Immediate contraception is available from any practitioner, in clinics for family planning, and in some countries, at any pharmacy.

In case it isn’t taken within the next three days, you should look for a doctor’s opinion because it is possible to insert inner-uterus products that would prevent pregnancy within the next five days after the unprotected intercourse.

What are the advantages?

They can be taken within the 72 hours after the intercourse

What are the disadvantages?

  • They don’t prevent sexually spread diseases;
  • They can cause headaches or vomiting;
  • They are used only as an immediate contraception method and never as an everyday method;
  • They don’t prevent unwilling pregnancy for the rest period of menstruation so, therefore, another method of contraception is required for the rest period;
  • It is only 58% effective if taken 48-72 hours after the intercourse;
  • It can cause irregular bleeding.

The level of effectiveness for the “day after pills” is up to 95%.

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