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About contraceptives and emergency contraception

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Effectiveness of contraception

The effectiveness of contraception depends on whether or not it is used properly. There are 2 different measures of effectiveness:
• ‘Perfect use' measures effectiveness when a contraceptive is used exactly according to clinical guidelines
• ‘Typical use' measures effectiveness for the average person who does not always use the method correctly or consistently

Getting contraception

Male condoms can be purchased in most supermarkets, convenience stores or pharmacies. Other forms of contraception require a visit to the GP or polyclinic for a prescription.

Facts about contraception

Birth control pills does not cause an abortion or end a pregnancy. Birth control prevents fertilisation and/ or pregnancy.
Latex condoms, when used consistently and correctly, are highly effective in preventing the sexual transmission of HIV.

Emergency contraception

Also known as ‘Plan B' and ‘the morning after pill', emergency contraception is birth control you can use to prevent pregnancy after unprotected sex. It is usually more effective the earlier you take it after unprotected sex. In Singapore, emergency contraception is only available with a prescription, so you need to consult a doctor.

When should I take emergency contraception?

Emergency contraception is not the same as an abortion pill. If you are already pregnant, emergency contraception does not cause an abortion.
You can take emergency contraception if any of the following situations occur:
• Condom broke during sex
• Condom came off during sex
• You or your partner forgot to use a condom
• You forgot to take oral contraception (birth control pill)
• You were forced into unprotected sex by anyone

Side effects of emergency contraception

There may be some side effects after taking emergency contraception:
• Nausea and throwing up
• Breast tenderness
• Irregular bleeding
• Dizziness
• Headaches

How often can I use emergency contraception?

Emergency contraception should not be used as your primary method of birth control. It is for emergencies. Do not use emergency contraception as a form of ongoing birth control as it does not offer lasting protection from pregnancy.
Other forms of birth control are a lot more effective and less stressful to the body.

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