morning-after pill

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morning-after pill popular name for an emergency postcoital contraceptive containing a high dose of the hormones usually found in an oral contraceptive, either an estrogen plus a progestational agent, or the latter alone; used to prevent pregnancy after unprotected intercourse occurs, or after a contraceptive method fails during intercourse, administered orally.

morning-after pill (MAP),

an oral drug that, when taken by a woman within 2-3 days after intercourse, reduces the probability that she will become pregnant.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved two regimens for postcoital contraception. The Yuzpe regimen consists of a combination of progestogen (levonorgestrol 0.25 mg or norgestrel 0.5 mg) and estrogen (ethinyl estradiol 100 mcg) taken at once and repeated in 12 hours. Alternatively, two doses of levonorgestrel 0.75 mg may be taken without estrogen. With either regimen, the first dose should preferably be taken within 24 hours after intercourse, and not more than 72 hours after. The Yuzpe method reduces the likelihood of pregnancy by about 57%, the levonorgestrel method by 85%. About 50% of women experience uterine bleeding within 1 week and most of the rest within 3 weeks unless conception has occurred. If taken early enough, the hormones may prevent fertilization by altering tubal function or exerting toxicity against the ovum. Probably, however, they usually act by preventing implantation of a fertilized ovum. This is not emergency contraception but rather chemical abortion. The incidence of nausea is about 40% with levonorgestrel alone and about 65% with the Yuzpe regimen. Headache, fluid retention, and breast tenderness may also occur. This procedure is contraindicated in women for whom oral contraceptives are contraindicated, such as those with hypertension or a history of stroke or thromboembolic disease. The short course of high-dose hormones probably does not interrupt a pregnancy after implantation has occurred, and there is no evidence that fetal harm has occurred when such a pregnancy has continued to term. However, hormone use is contraindicated in known pregnancy or if the woman has had unprotected intercourse within the preceding 3-10 days. An application for over-the-counter marketing of levonorgestrel has been denied by the FDA.

morning-after pill

Any of various oral drugs that are intended to prevent pregnancy for up to five days after sexual intercourse by delaying or inhibiting ovulation, preventing fertilization of an egg, or preventing implantation of a fertilized egg.

morning-after pill

Etymology: AS, morgen + aefter + pilian, to peel,
Usage notes: (informal)
a large dose of an estrogen, given orally, over a short period, to a woman within 24 to 72 hours after sexual intercourse to prevent conception, most commonly in an emergency such as rape or incest. The woman is warned that the medication may cause the formation of clots, severe nausea and vomiting, and teratogenic and carcinogenic effects on the fetus if pregnancy already exists or if contraception fails. The availability of mifepristone provides an alternative and |mf100% effective method for preventing pregnancy with fewer side effects; a single dose prevents pregnancy by preventing implantation.

emergency contraception

A popular term for secondary “contraception” used in the event of failure or suboptimal “primary contraception”.

morning-after pill

Emergency contraception, interception pill Gynecology A high-dose estrogen given in the early post-ovulatory period to prevent implantation of a potentially fertilized egg after unprotected intercourse. See Contraception, DES, Norplant, Pearl index, RU 486.

morning-after pill

References in periodicals archive ?
Jeremy supports the view that the morning-after pill is important and that all women should have the right to make an informed decision.
This means that any Irish child with access to the internet and a credit card could easily order the morning-after pill online.
Until now, the age limit was 16, and the morning-after pill was given only to women who had been raped.
Six states--Alaska, California, Hawaii, Maine, New Mexico and Washington--already allow women to buy morning-after pills from certain pharmacists without a prescription.
A year-long study of Britain's health authorities by Nottingham University Business School seems to show that those areas which expanded family planning services for teenagers - including giving out the morning-after pill in schools - saw soaring rates of sexually transmitted infection but no reduction in pregnancy.
The Sunday Mercury conducted a straw poll of primary care trusts to see which would allow its doctors to hand out prescriptions for the morning-after pill in advance.
GIRLS as young as 13 will be able to get the morning-after pill without their parents' knowledge under a controversial sex health scheme.
The bitter conflict between church and state erupted again in late January after the federal government approved the use of the so-called morning-after pill as part of its revised family-planning policy Norma Oficial Mexicana de los Servicios de Planificacion Familiar.
Proponents of the drug say that because time is of the essence in these situations, it is important to make the morning-after pill easy to find and obtain.
Meanwhile, the Australian Medical Association is challenging an interim decision allowing the sale of a morning-after pill without a prescription.
In November 2000, the French parliament voted to allow school nurses to distribute the morning-after pill in junior and senior high schools.
But I am curious about the so-called abortion pill and the morning-after pill that I recently heard about on television.