AfterPill

Affordable Emergency Contraception

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AfterPill Emergency Contraception. Photo © 2014 Dawn Stacey

AfterPill is a new FDA-approved emergency contraceptive. AfterPill can help protect you against an unintended pregnancy if you have have had unprotected sex or experienced birth control failure in the past 72 hours.

The goal behind the manufacturing of AfterPill is for women to be prepared AHEAD of time by buying this emergency contraceptive and having it available for immediate use when needed. 

What is AfterPill?

AfterPill is a one-pill emergency contraceptive that contains the same hormone as Plan B One-Step.

This FDA-approved morning-after pill is manufactured by Syzygy Healthcare Solutions. AfterPill only consists of a single pill that contains 1.5 mg of the progestin levonorgestrel. It is essentially identical to morning-after pills: Plan B One-Step, Take Action, Next Choice One Dose and My Way.

AfterPill contains the progestin, levonorgestrel. This progestin has been safely used in many birth control pills for several decades. The main difference is that AfterPill has a higher amount of this progestin than regular combination birth control pills have, and it does not contain any estrogen.

What Makes AfterPill Different?

The main thing that separates AfterPill from other morning-after pills is that AfterPill is only available online. This means that you will not be able to purchase AfterPill in any stores. AfterPill is manufactured in the United States and is sold directly to you by the manufacturer.

Because there is no "middle-man," AfterPill costs about 60% less than Plan B One-Step and half the price of Take Action, Next Choice One Dose and My Way. 

It is important to point out that AfterPill is just as effective as these other morning-after pills. Just because it costs less, the quality of this emergency contraceptive is exactly the same.

Syzygy can offer you this affordable emergency contraceptive option because they are selling it directly to you.

How AfterPill Works:

Because it contains levonorgestrel like the Pill, AfterPill is thought to avoid pregnancy in a similar way that the Pill does. The primary way that the AfterPill emergency contraception works to prevent pregnancy is by stopping you from ovulating -- so if you use AfterPill, it should prevent your ovary from releasing an egg. FDA guidelines require the manufacturers of all levonorgestrel morning-after pills to specify on product labeling that these emergency contraceptives may also work by not allowing a fertilized egg to implant in the uterus. That being said, the majority of scientific research on levonorgestrel-based emergency contraception reveal that these morning-after pills do not appear to affect implantation.

When Should I Use AfterPill?

You should use AfterPill as soon as you can because this morning-after pill is more effective the quicker you use it.

 AfterPill should be used within 72 hours (3 days) after unprotected sex or birth control failure. You can use AfterPill at any time during your monthly cycle.

*Note: emergency birth control, in general, has been shown to still be effective up to 5 days after unprotected sex, so it may still be useful to use the ActionPill morning-after pill for up to 120 hours.

A Special Note About Purchasing AfterPill:

Since AfterPill is only available online, it is meant to be purchased ahead of time and not after you have experienced birth control failure or had unprotected sex. AfterPill allows you to, in a sense, prepare for the unexpected. Since the morning-after pill is more effective the sooner you take it, by purchasing AfterPill and having it on hand will allow you to use it more quickly.

The company is empowering women to be prepared and buy AfterPill before you need it. Since nobody really plans for their birth control failing, if this happens to you (for instance, maybe a condom was not used correctly and it slipped off or broke, you realized you forgot to take the pill for the last few days, you miscalculated your fertile days, your NuvaRing accidentally fell out, etc.), you will not need to panic. You will be able to use AfterPill immediately and save time by not having to rush to your local drugstore, wait until it opens the next day, or risk arriving at the store only to find that they do not have any morning-after pills in stock.  

The ability to use AfterPill as soon as you need it directly impacts how effective it is. Research shows that just delaying the levonorgestrel dose of the morning-after pill by 12 hours increases the odds of pregnancy by almost 50%.

Because of the court case Tummino v. Hamburglevonorgestrel-based morning-after pills are allowed to be sold over-the-counter, with no age restrictions. AfterPill is being marketed for use in women age 17 and older. However, it is safe for women of all ages to use (and you do not need to show proof of age to purchase AfterPill). Due to FDA requirements, the packages of one-pill levonorgestrel-based morning-after pills (such as AfterPill, My Way and Next Choice One Dose) must indicate that they are intended for use in women 17 years of age or older due to a labeling requirement that was put into place to protect the three year exclusivity agreement with Teva (the manufacturer of Plan B One-Step and Take Action). 

AfterPill can only be be purchased at http://afterpill.com. AfterPill will be shipped via regular mail in a small, discreet package. It will likely arrive within 5-7 days after placing an online order. The AfterPill name will not be printed anywhere on the box or your credit card receipt.

How Much AfterPill Cost?

  • A one pack (for one use) of AfterPill costs $20, plus $5 for shipping and handling.
  • A three pack (good for three different uses) of AfterPill costs $60, plus $5 for shipping and handling.

AfterPill is Not:

AfterPill is not the same thing as the abortion pill (RU486). Because it does not contain the same medication as RU486, if you use AfterPill and are already pregnant, it will not cause a medical abortion. So AfterPill will not terminate or harm an established pregnancy.

AfterPill is intended to prevent pregnancy after a single episode of unprotected intercourse or contraception failure. This means that AfterPill will not continue to guard against pregnancy throughout the rest of your menstrual cycle. Your ability to become pregnant is likely to rapidly return after using AfterPill, so it is important that you use some additional type of birth control. AfterPill is also not meant to be used as regular contraception.

How Can I Tell if AfterPill Worked?

The only way to tell for sure that AfterPill has worked is if you get your period. If your period comes at it’s normal time or within one week of when you anticipated it to begin, you will know that AfterPill worked.

If your period is more than seven days late, it is possible that you could be pregnant. If you think that this may be the case, you can take a home pregnancy test to either determine whether or not you are pregnant If you have a positive pregnancy test, you should follow-up with your doctor.

Research shows that there is some link between progestin-only contraceptives and ectopic pregnancies. If it has been 3 to 5 weeks since you used AfterPill, your period is late, and you are having severe abdominal pain, you may have an ectopic pregnancy, so you should seek immediately medical attention.

How Effective is AfterPill?

AfterPill is most effective the quicker you use it. If used properly, AfterPill can significantly reduce your chances of becoming pregnant. Research shows that about 7 out of every 8 women (87%) who would have gotten pregnant will not become pregnant. If taken within the first 12 hours, that number has been shown to increase (95%).

Keep in mind, according to it's manufacturer, AfterPill is less likely to work if:

  • You have unprotected sex or contraceptive failure again in the same menstrual cycle after taking AfterPill.
  • You've already had unprotected sex or contraceptive failure earlier in your menstrual cycle.
  • You vomit within two hours of taking AfterPill (talk to your doctor if this happens).
  • If you are over 165 pounds.

AfterPill and STI Protection:

AfterPill will not protect you from sexually transmitted infections or HIV.

Source:

Piaggio G, von Hertzen H, Grimes DA, Van Look PF. "Timing of emergency contraception with levonorgestrel or the Yuzpe regimen. Task Force on Postovulatory Methods of Fertility Regulation." Lancet, 1999 Feb 27; 353(9154): 721.

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