Frequent use of emergency pills can result in unplanned pregnancy – Dr Asah-Opoku

Frequent use of emergency pills can result in unplanned pregnancy – Dr Asah-Opoku

Dr Asah Opoku, a Consultant Obstetrician Gynaecologist and Head of Department of the Family Planning Unit at the KorleBu Teaching Hospital has cautioned women to desist from using emergency contraceptive pills frequently anytime they have sex in their bid to prevent pregnancy.

He said, an emergency contraceptive pill was not effective when one was ovulating and this was likely to get the person pregnant within any of the days ovulation take place.

He stressed that some women were using emergency contraception without any prescription from health experts and this could have effect on them.

“The more you take it the more your chances of getting pregnant becomes high. People now use it weekly, monthly and that is not advisable. It is supposed to be a one of thing” he added.

Speaking to The Spectator in an interview Dr Opoku said emergency pills did not stop or delay ovulation and advised women who always did so to refrain from it.

“Emergency contraception can work well, but it’s not a substitute for regular birth control. Regular birth control works better, has fewer side effects. As the name suggests, emergency birth control is for emergencies, not something to use all the time” he said

He explained that “emergency contraception refers to methods of contraception that can be used to prevent pregnancy after sexual intercourse. These are recommended for use within five days but are more effective the sooner they are used after the act of intercourse or within 72 hours”.

“It does not also prevent one from acquiring sexual Transmitted Disease”. He said and added that emergency contraceptive pills when taken made the hormones in our body very active for childbirth.

 Dr Asah said that some women experienced nausea, slight irregular vaginal bleeding and fatigue after frequently taking the pills which counselling should be given on what other contraceptive options may be more appropriate and more effective.

According to him, in order to avoid pregnancy, there were permanent family planning method which included, Intrauterine Device (IUD), The Contraceptive Implant, Contraceptive Injection, Contraceptive Ring and   Diaphragm which are available at health facilities for women.

“In health facilities people are educated and counselled on the type of family planning which would be good for them so we don’t impose methods to clients when they visit our facilities” he stressed.

He advised women to use permanent family planning services and stop using too much of the emergency pills.

He stated that one has to visit family health facility for counselling on the right Family Planning method.

By Linda Abrefi Wadie

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