If you have had unprotected sex and are concerned about unwanted pregnancy, you can always opt for emergency contraception. You can choose from two options – intrauterine device (IUD) or the emergency contraception (EC) pill. Also known as the “morning after pill”, the EC pill is a good choice if you occasionally fail to use your regular contraception.
The EC pill is effective because it contains levonorgestrel, which prevents ovulation and fertilization of the egg. It also discourages implantation of the egg by changing the lining of the wall of the uterus. Many women know the pill is effective but they still have many questions about it. One common question is if it’s oaky to take morning after pill when breastfeeding.
Can You Take Morning After Pill While Breastfeeding?
Yes, you can. You can always take Next Choice One Dose, Plan B One-Step, Levonorgestrel tablets, and other progestin-only emergency contraceptive pills while breastfeeding. Taking any of these pills once usually causes no change to the quality or quantity of the breast milk.
There may still be effects of the pill in your milk but it is not that noticeable. Taking a single 1.5 dose will make you have about 0.1% of the drug in your breast milk for about 3 days. The amount of drug present in the milk is not significant enough to affect the production of milk or the health of your baby. It means you do not need to stop feeding your baby if you are taking morning after pill while breastfeeding. In fact, you should continue with it because ceasing breastfeeding may reduce its contraceptive effect and you may actually be causing more harm to your baby by introducing formula to him/her so early.
Caution with Some Pills
Many breastfeeding mothers opt for the “Mini Pill”, which is considered safe while breastfeeding. It contains levonorgestrel, the same hormone found in the morning after pill. If you are using the Mini Pill, you have to bear in mind that it contains a lower dose of levonorgestrel and you have to take it at the same time daily to make it effective. Just keep in mind that some pills should be avoided while nursing – the label for Ella states that you should not take it when breastfeeding.
What about Effects on Milk Supply?
If you are taking progestin-only contraception, you usually do not need to worry about milk supply, especially if you start it after the 6th-8th week of delivery. It is important to take it at normal doses though. However, things are not the same for every woman because there are women complaining about supply problems after taking morning after pill while breastfeeding.
Do You Really Need to Take Morning-After Pill While Breastfeeding?
Usually, there is no need to use emergency contraceptive pills if you are breastfeeding regularly after delivery and have had unprotected sex during this time. You cannot become pregnancy, especially if you have not had any period after your delivery. This may continue like this for up to six months after your delivery, but that is not the same for every woman. It means that while you are less likely to become pregnancy soon after delivery, the chances are always there.
Risk Factors for Pregnancy in Breastfeeding
You are more likely to become pregnant after delivery if you are not breastfeeding regularly and often switch to baby formula as well. The chances of becoming pregnant will go up if your baby is six months old or you have already have your period after delivery – this usually means you are ovulating and may become pregnant after having unprotected sex. In this case, you will be better off taking morning after pill while breastfeeding.
What about Copper Intrauterine Contraceptive Device (IUD)?
You can use IDs even when you are breastfeeding. They are completely safe during this time. It is important to have a copper IUD inserted no longer than 5 days after having unprotected sex. The timing of having it inserted is critical, but it usually proves more effective as compared to a single dose of levonorgestrel. Another good thing about IUDs is that they serve as ongoing contraception. While it can serve as a good choice of emergency contraception, some women may have trouble finding a doctor to have it inserted within 5 days of unprotected sex.
Cautions to Take with Emergency Contraception and Breastfeeding
In case you do not have access to the morning after pill or IUDs, you can still find other options to prevent unwanted pregnancy after unprotected sex. It is important though to talk to your doctor for advice about the number of tablets or dose to take.
It is also important to bear in mind that while you can take the EC pill more than once within a cycle, it is still a better idea to stick to alternate methods of contraception to prevent possible complications. If you are taking the EC pill, you may have to deal with certain side effects such as vomiting or nausea. Be sure to take another dose if you vomit within two hours of taking the tablet.
What Else do You Have to Do?
It is important to talk to your doctor if you have had sex and taken the Pill but your period has not returned yet. This may indicate pregnancy. The EC pill is quite effective, but does not provide 100% protection. There are chances to become pregnant even after taking the pill. However, you do not need to worry about giving birth to a baby with birth defects for taking the EC pill in early pregnancy.