- Fertility & Reproductive Systems
I-Pill: A Contraceptive From Cipla
What is the Cipla i-pill?
The Cipla i-pill is a single-dose emergency contraceptive that provides a relatively safe and easy way to prevent an unplanned pregnancy after unprotected sex or contraceptive failure.
Some people refer to the i-pill as the "morning-after pill" because right after sex, you might need to take precautions not to get pregnant. Of course, abstinence is the best way to avoid pregnancy, and contraceptives are available, but face it: mistakes happen, and sometimes you need to take a precautionary measure to avoid an unwanted pregnancy.
For example, was there a contraceptive failure (e.g. condom malfunction) or improper use of regular birth control (instructions were not followed)? What if the sex was unexpected, unprotected, or possibly even forced? This pill is the last resort a woman has to avoid an unwanted pregnancy. It's an emergency contraception to be used only in case of emergency.
The pill's active ingredient is levonorgestrel, a progestin hormone that prevents pregnancy by stopping or delaying the release of an egg, affecting the cervical mucus to make it harder for the sperm and egg to meet, and possibly changing the womb to make it more difficult for a fertilized egg to attach to the lining of the uterus.
How does the morning-after pill work?
When the i-pill should be taken: Take the pill immediately after unplanned intercourse. Take it no later than 72 hours after intercourse. The pill's effectiveness is strongest right after you first take it and that effectiveness lessens with each hour.
How effective is this pill? According to the i-pill's website, if you take the i-pill within 24 hours after unprotected sex, is is 95% effective; it's 85% effective between 25-48 hours after unprotected sex and 58% effective if taken between 49-72 hours. But of course, these percentages are not exact, they are only vague indications probability. The longer you wait, the less likely it is the pill will work, and if you take it more than 72 hours later, it's too late. If you really want the pill to work, take it immediately after the unplanned intercourse.
What this pill does: Depending on where you are in your menstrual cycle when you take the pill, it will prevent ovulation, fertilization, or implantation of the egg in the uterus. So, for example, if you take the pill just before ovulation, then the pill will prevent or delay that egg from being released and possibly become fertilized by the sperm still inside you. Or, for example, if you take the pill just before the egg and sperm meet in the fallopian tube, then the pill will prevent the sperm from fertilizing the egg. And if the egg and sperm have already met but you take the pill before that egg implants on the wall of the uterus, then the pill will prevent that egg from attaching in the womb (although there is some controversy about how the pill works.)
When the i-pill won't prevent pregnancy: If you take it too late, it won't work. This pill is ineffective if the woman is already pregnant: once the fertilized egg has implanted in the uterus, the pill will have no effect and it cannot end an established pregnancy. So if you take it more than 72 hours after intercourse, it's too late.
Straight Facts About the I-Pill
- The i-pill is to be used only as an emergency contraceptive pill. It is not a reliable means of birth control. In fact, it is a very strong drug which should only be used in an emergency.
- Some say that the i-pill is only safe for women between the ages of 25 and 45 and that it is not safe for teenagers, but these claims have not yet been supported by any respectable studies.
- The i-pill is a hormonal pill and continued, abusive use over time may lead to menstrual problems or even reproductive damage.
- The active drug in the i-pill has a very long list of possible side effects, which include reduced sexual interest, skin problems, severe headaches, nausea, vomiting, lower abdominal pain, breast tenderness, and unexpected vaginal bleeding. Your period may come earlier or later than expected. These effects should be temporary.
- A woman with an allergy to levonorgestrel should consult a doctor before taking the i-pill.
- If you taking medication for any ailment, consult a doctor before taking the i-pill.
- The i-pill is not an abortion pill. It may prevent pregnancy from happening but cannot terminate a pregnancy once a fertilized egg has attached to the uterine wall. It is completely ineffective after a woman is already pregnant.
- The i-pill must taken before 72 hours after unprotected sex or it won't work. Even if it is taken within this timeframe, there's no guarantee that it will work, but the sooner you take it, the more effective it is.
- A woman should take a pregnancy test if her next period is delayed by more than one week.
- The i-pill does nothing to protect against or prevent HIV/AIDS or any other sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). Only abstinence offers absolute protection from STDs but if you are sexually active, use a condom!
- There is some evidence that the morning-after pill is not as effective when used by overweight women. Studies show that the drug loses effectiveness in women weighing more than 165 pounds (11.78 stones) and doesn't work at all if she's over 176 pounds (12.57 stones).
- Although you do get to choose if you take the pill, you don't really don't get to choose when. If you are near ovulation at the time of intercourse, and there is no contraceptive, and you want to avoid pregnancy, you have a very small window of time when that pill might work.
- The i-pill is 95% effective if taken in time, and 0% effective if not taken in time.
- An i-pill is meant for emergency contraception. It is extremely dangerous if taken as a normal contraceptive.