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.
Miller-Keane Encyclopedia and Dictionary of Medicine, Nursing, and Allied Health, Seventh Edition. © 2003 by Saunders, an imprint of Elsevier, Inc. All rights reserved.

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.

Farlex Partner Medical Dictionary © Farlex 2012

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.
The American Heritage® Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2007, 2004 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.

emergency contraception

A popular term for secondary “contraception” used in the event of failure or suboptimal “primary contraception”.
Segen's Medical Dictionary. © 2012 Farlex, Inc. All rights reserved.

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.
McGraw-Hill Concise Dictionary of Modern Medicine. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

morning-after pill

Collins Dictionary of Medicine © Robert M. Youngson 2004, 2005
References in periodicals archive ?
But the best form of contraception is to make sure you don't need the morning-after pill - at Christmas or any other time.
When asked if her strong support of the morning-after pill could be a gateway to introducing legalized abortion, Bachelet deflected the question.
Until now, the age limit was 16, and the morning-after pill was given only to women who had been raped.
There is no minimum age limit on who can be prescribed the morning-after pill.
I can get the morning-after pill. I don't have to tell my parents.
High St chemists chain Superdrug were last night forced to make an embarrassing U-turn over their decision to sell the morning-after pill online from their website.
The article was a reaction against a proposal in England that contraceptive and morning-after pills should be made more widely accessible in order to stem the number of teenage pregnancies.
"They shouldn't just be giving out these morning-after pills - girls will start treating them as contraception.
Both the school nurse and the local GP, Dr Jane Taylor - who attends the school two lunchtimes a week - can prescribe the morning-after pill and give out contraceptives, including the Pill and condoms, to girls and boys over 14.
THE morning-after pill may soon be sold at chemists after a Government body said it was safe to be handed out without a prescription.
In October last year research published in the the Lancet medical journal showed the morning-after pill worked best when taken within 24 hours.
"It's a common misconception that the so-called morning-after pill is some kind of abortion tablet, but that's not the case.