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The next-morning pill Essay


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The next-morning pill


Prescott, Heather. The Morning After: A History of Emergency Contraception in the United States. New Jersey: Rutgers University Press, 2011. Print

Hobbs, Melissa, Angela J. Taft, and Lisa H. Amir. “The emergency contraceptive pill rescheduled: a focus group study of women’s knowledge, attitudes and experiences.” Journal of Family Planning and Reproductive Health Care 35.2 (2009): 87-91.Print.


The author of this book claims to have first heard of the emergency contraception pill in the 1990’s. This was after medical journals, news reports and popular magazines published a number of stories with regard to this alternative method for birth control. Meticulous research by Prescott reveals that emergency contraception indeed has a long history dating back to the early 1960’s (1). As such, this was a result of a long-standing campaign effort by proactive reproductive health as well as women’s health professionals and activists, which was realized decades after the campaign began. The main aim of these campaigns was to ensure that emergency contraception is widely accessible all over the United States. This essay intends to look into the issue appertaining to the morning after pill, the merits and demerits associated with its use among different women.


According to Prescott, the next morning pill has a long history, which includes being one of America’s well-guarded secrets to what is now a common commodity in nearly every pharmacy all across the US (1). The campaign for the universal availability of emergency contraception had a long struggle stemming from opposing sides on the reproductive health issues. On one side, there were those in the health profession supporting the then novel technology (Hobbs, Angela and Lisa 89). They considered this as a straightforward scientific answer to the endemic issue of unwanted pregnancies. Religious conservatives on the other hand strongly opposed reproductive health campaigns, as they tended to equate the use of emergency contraception with abortion (Prescott 1). It took the persistence of population control activists, reproductive health scientists, pharmaceutical conglomerates, regulatory agencies as well as lawmakers to ensure that the emergency contraception was made available for all women (Prescott 2).

The next morning pill

Currently, the most consumed emergency contraception is referred to as Plan B, which also available in the form of generic substitutes. These are known to be effective in preventing pregnancies even when consumed three days after unprotected sexual intercourse. In its original composition, it contains a synthetic component known as progesterone levonorgestral (Prescott 2). The Food and Drug Administration agency (FDA) approved the use of a more effective component in a new morning after pill known as ellaOne. This new and revolutionary morning after pill contains a compound known as ulipristal acetate, which has extended the period within which a woman can use the pill to up to five days after engaging in unprotected sex (Prescott 2).


Planned Parenthood Federation of America. Morning-After Pill (Emergency Contraception).  2013. Web. 2 June 2013.

According to the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, morning after pills are quite appropriate in the prevention of unwanted pregnancies even after 120 hours after a woman has engaged in unprotected sex. They propose two means with which to prevent cases on unwanted pregnancies the more conventional next morning pill and the ParaGard IUD insertion procedure. This paper however highlights the use of the next morning pill which the Federation considers is not only safe but also largely effective among all feminine users. The Federation’s website highlights that over the counter sale of the pill, is allowed for all feminine persons over the age of fifteen (Panned Parenthood Federation of America). The Federation’s website reports that the FDA approved the sale of the Plan B brand of next morning pill over the counter in all pharmaceutical outlets to all persons over the age of fifteen. On the 30th of April this year, the FDA introduced this new scheme aimed at protecting women from unplanned pregnancies (Panned Parenthood Federation of America).


Jurow, Ronna and Shoupe, Donna. Contraception. New York: John Wiley & Sons, 2011. Print.

According to Jurow and Shoupe, the neat morning pill has indeed played an important role in limiting the prevalence of abortion cases (124). Abortion has been a major cause for concern for the patients, the medical community as well as the society at large. The fact that the different brands of next morning pills have proven effective in minimizing the prevalence of this vice has been viewed as one of the highlights of introducing morning after pills. It is reported that from 1994 to 2000, the improved perception on the effectiveness of morning after pill led to a decline in abortion rates by nearly 45% (Jurow and Shoupe 124). Jurrow points out that there is evidence supporting the fact that the availability of morning after pills does not in any means encourage risk taking in unprotected sex (124). More so, these research outcomes supported the fact that among women who sought next morning pills were really in need for an emergency solution.

Among the other advantages attributed to the use of next morning pills include; they are safe to use by nearly all women. There have not been cases linked to the use of emergency contraception pills to death or even life threatening side effects thus the EC’s are safe to use. It is also possible for women to purchase the next morning pills for future use or when an emergency prompts a woman to require EC (Jurow and Shoupe 124). Prior to the FDA’s approval for fifteen year old females to be allowed to purchase next morning pills with proof of their age, it had earlier been recommended for use by only those above the age of 17. Teenage sex is common and unwanted pregnancies are numerous in this age bracket. The approval for the use of EC pills by the fifteen year olds will definitely lead to lower cases of unwanted pregnancies.


Guillebaud, John and MacGregor, Anne Pill. Other Forms of Hormonal Contraception. London: Oxford University Press, 2009. Print.

According to Guillebaud and MacGregor, there are a number of demerits attributed to the use of next morning pills, researchers have made a rather complex link to the use of the pill with depression among users. This has resulted in women opting not to use the contraceptive in recent times. Another side effect that has been connected to the use of the pill is the prevalence of low sexual libido. This is mostly the case with women who have ha their first child and used the pill thereafter. As much as loss of sexual libido is attributed to other factors, it has been noted to increase in women using the pill (Guillebaud and MacGregor).


In conclusion, the use of morning pills has come along way from being a government secret in the 1960’s to becoming the contraception of choice in the 1990’s. It has by far prevented a lot of unwanted pregnancies as well as abortions which put women’s lives and reproductive health at risk. However, as much as it has bee hailed as revolutionary, it has come with its own type of side effects which have led to a decrease in the use of the pill a an EC measure.