Here's Your Plan B If You Didn't Wrap It Before You Tapped It

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You'll find two common emergency contraceptives in Singapore- morning after pill and a contraceptive patch. But there are long-term solutions as well!

In this Millennial age, being a sexually active young adult is more of a norm than an exception. But like everything else, it also comes with its fair share of challenges. A pregnancy scare being at the top of that list. So if you bodoh didn't use birth control in the first place or a condom because "it feels better" without protection or if it broke, chances are you are now running around trying to find emergency contraceptives in Singapore.  

The good news is that if you're not ready to become a parent yet, there are many options to choose from and many places that offer help. 

Emergency contraceptives in Singapore 

Typically, you'll find two most common emergency contraceptives in Singapore- morning after pill and a contraceptive patch. 

1. Morning after pill 

The first is the morning-after pill, which is a safe and effective way to prevent unwanted pregnancy. You can use it if you forgot to take your birth control pills or if the condom accidentally broke or you are not on any birth control pills at all. 

Generally, you can take an emergency contraceptive pill at any time during your menstrual cycle and cost you anything between S$10 and S$30. But preferably within 72 hours of unprotected sex.

Although there are pills that allow you to live your life on the edge with a five-day window (not the most ideal thing though!) 

There are two brands popularly available in Singapore: Postinor® (levonorgestrel) and Ella® (ulipristal acetate). 

1. Postinor® (levonorgestrel)

Postinor has two doses that you'll have to take 12 hours apart, but still well within the 72 hour window of unprotected sex. This pill reportedly has an overall 85 percent success rate of preventing pregnancy.

If you take it within 24 hours, you have a 95 percent success rate of preventing pregnancy. However, if you take it after 48-72 hours, there is the success rate drops down to a mere 58 percent.

Also note that you shouldn't take more than four tablets in a month. So if you've been super busy, you better think of an alternative way of protection.   

2. Ella® (ulipristal acetate)

Ella, on the other hand, has only one dose. The other good news is that you have a window of upto five days or 120 hours to take this pill. And the success rate of this pill is reportedly 85 percent if you take it within the stipulated window.

But it's affect doesn't reduce whether you take it on the first day or the fifth, it works just the same. You will, however, need a doctor's prescription to buy Ella, which you can find at the Guardian pharmacy. You can't just get it off the counter. 

Doctors are usually not hesitant to give out these prescriptions and might share a few suggestions on the importance of wearing a condom. There are only two conditions: you have be a woman and over the age of 16. 

Unfortunately, in Singapore women do not prefer to take oral contraceptives. As Obstetrician and gynaecologist Christopher Ng of GynaeMD Women's and Rejuvenation Clinic tells The Strait Times, "Many women shy away from using oral contraceptives because they have misconceptions about how taking hormones is bad for them or that it can lead to infertility later on." 

Which brings us to the second option, which is a contraceptive patch.

2. Contraceptive patch 

This is a thin patch that works just as well as the morning-after pill. You can slap it on your abdomen, thigh, buttocks or even your arm and change it each week. It is reportedly 99 percent successful in preventing an unwanted pregnancy. 

It's a great option for those who are not comfortable popping pills. But the downside is that in the hot and humid weather of Singapore many women get worried that the patch may fall off on it own. Plus, you have to wait anything between six and 12 months before your fertility kicks in. 

Now, even though you have all of these options, the best preventive measure is to practice safe sex. But if you really don't want any stress of unwanted pregnancy, there is always the long-term solution. 

Long-term solution to prevent unwanted pregnancies

Ideally, as a sexually active young adult your first priority should be to work on a long-term solution so you don't have to run after emergency contraceptives in Singapore. And while there are many options, the four most common among them include an intrauterine device (IUD), a contraceptive implant, mirena, and tubal ligation.   

1. Intrauterine device (IUD)

This is a T-shaped invasive device that when inserted into the womb can stay there for upto five years. A copper IUD or coil as it is also called, can last you 12 years as well. It is reportedly 99.2 - 99.4 percent effective in preventing unwanted pregnancy. 

Your fertility will resume when you take it out.

However, the downside of using an IUD is that it is quite expensive and cost anything between S$400 and S$500. It can also cause irregular bleeding or spotting.

Your doctor may not recommend it to you especially if you are anaemic or have a heavy flow. The other risk includes a rare occurrence where the IUD may fall out of the womb and cause infection upon insertion.  

2. Contraceptive Implant 

This progesterone implant or Implanon is usually inserted into the arm as a way to prevent ovulation. It releases hormones to prevent unwanted pregnancy. The success rate of a contraceptive implant is almost 99 percent and the implant lasts about three years at the cost of S$600. 

The good news is that you will regain fertility soon after the implant is removed and won't have to wait for months. The downside of a contraceptive implant is that it can cause weight gain, irregular periods and in some women even bloating. 

So we suggest you consult with your doctor before getting a contraceptive implant.  procedure. 

3. Mirena

 

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Similar to an IUD, Mirena is a coil-like device that is inserted into your uterus and has an added progestogen effect. With a success rate of about 99 percent, this coil is also one of the best contraceptives there is. 

Priced anything between S$400 and S$500 depending upon the hospital, it can stay in the uterus for about five years and your fertility resumes as soon as it is taken out. Doctors might recommend Mirena to you because it helps to reduce heavy bleeding and painful periods.

Most women on Mirena may have heavy bleeding during their first three months. But once on it, post six-month usage period they may notice light bleeding or no period, gradually decreasing the painful cramps. 

4. Tubal Ligation

Straight up let us clarify that this is exactly what it sounds- a surgery, albeit a minor one. Your fallopian tubes are surgically cut, but this pricey process at S$3,200 is 99 percent effective. Only opt for this option if having no kids is your agenda.   

There is a rare chance that this surgery would be unsuccessful. For the most part it works out well for women who do not want to get pregnant. But in case you change your mind, which also happens, the good news is that the procedure can be revised. But you will consult with your doctor to understand if it's possible for you.  

That's because a reversal surgery comes with its own share of risks and might even end up unsuccessful and leave you with a higher risk of ectopic pregnancy. 

So always consider two things before you decide to go ahead with this procedure. One, what if you get married again? Two, what if you decide to have another child? 

Either way, practicing safe sex is the best way to avoid a situation where you have to run after emergency contraceptives in Singapore. Instead, consult with your doctor for a long-term solution.

Just remember that most of these solutions do not protect you from sexually transmitted diseases. So wrap it before you tap it. 

Sources: Healthhub.Sg, TAP, Yahoo, The Strait Times, MYVMC

(Feature & lead image courtesy: Pxhere)