Emergency contraception is taking off the ground as the most effective way to prevent a pregnancy after an episode of unprotected, unsafe sex. The widely popular ‘morning after pills’ have eased the stress on the generation that is exploring their sexuality; and is a blessing for women who have either faced an ‘oops’ moment in the bedroom when the contraceptive being used has failed, or have been in a situation of forced sex. An unwanted, unplanned pregnancy can be a nightmare and most women end up aborting the child in these scenarios leaving them feeling guilty, fearful, shamed and regretful. To help women not get into this pitiable state, various emergency contraceptive pills have flooded the market. One such popular morning after pill is I-Pill – and while it has proved to be very effective, it also needs to be noted that it cannot and should not be used as a regular measure of contraception. Let’s discuss about I-Pill in advance.

What Is I-Pill?

I-pill is an emergency contraceptive pill manufactured by leading pharmaceutical company Piramal Healthcare – and has proved its effectiveness as a quick solution for women to avoid an unwanted pregnancy after an episode of unsafe sex. Each tablet contains 1.5 mg of Levonorgestrel (Progestogen), and one pack contains a single oral tablet. It is primarily targeted at women between the ages of 25 and 45 years and is not considered to be the best choice for teenagers. Being a hormonal pill, I-pill works by delaying ovulation and/or by preventing meeting of the egg and the sperm. That said, Piramal Healthcare has marketed the I-pill so successfully that it has become a household name – but not many know that it is not be used as a regular contraception.

How Does I-Pill Work?

I-pill contains the synthetic levonorgestrel, a form of the hormone progesterone that prevents a pregnancy by delaying ovulation, preventing egg from releasing or preventing sperm to meet the egg, or by altering the uterus to prevent implantation. I-pill also prevents a pregnancy by inhibiting the release of egg for fertilization by the sperm or by preventing implantation. If no egg is released, the sperm cannot fertilize and so pregnancy cannot take place. It also thickens the cervical fluid to make it difficult for the sperm to meet the egg. The effectiveness, however, depends if the pill is taken before 72 hours after unprotected sex, the sooner the better. However, if implantation has already happened, I-pill will likely have no effect on it.

How To Use I-Pill?

Popping an I-pill is the easiest thing to do if you are anxious and stressed out after an episode of unsafe sex. Just go through the instructions on the package and consume the pill within 72 hours (3 days) after unprotected sexual encounter with a glass of water, The sooner you take it, the better your chances of not getting pregnant. You can take it before or after food as the case may be.

How Much Does An I-pill 72 Cost?

I-pill can be purchased at all leading pharmaceutical stores and chemists all across the country. Bigger departmental stores also stock emergency contraceptive pills and they can even be bought online through leading e-retailers. You do not need a doctor’s prescription to buy I-pill. Priced at about Rs. 85 for a pack of 1 tablet, in a country where sex is still a taboo, it comes across as one of the most effective ways to prevent a pregnancy after unsafe sex, cases of forced sex, rape, failure of contraceptive method being used etc. Infact, many teenagers also end up popping the pill after a night of passion, and in a country where rates of teenage pregnancies are rising, it is quite cost effective as well.

What Is The I-pill Dosage?

A single tablet of I-pill should be taken with a glass of water, before or after food, within 12 to 72 hours and not later than that. After an event of unprotected sex, if taken within 72 hours, I-pill works with the female hormones in such a way that pregnancy is prevented and the need for abortion does not arise. It may be noted here that I-pill only prevents a pregnancy, and does not cause an abortion if a pregnancy has already occurred. It should not consumed if you are already pregnant and should not be taken more than once in a menstrual cycle.

How Effective Is The I-pill?

No emergency or regular contraception can guarantee 100% protection, and I-pill offers an impressive 95%-98% efficacy – provided it is taken within 12 and 72 hours of unprotected sex – the sooner you take it, the more effective it will be. If your periods get late, it is advised to get yourself tested for pregnancy.

What Are The Benefits Of I-pill

Emergency contraception has given the power of choice to millions of women across the globe, so that babies can be made when they want and not by chance. An unplanned or unintended pregnancy can result in abortions and if the baby is carried, it may weigh heavily on the mother, the father or both. I-pill can also help prevent teenage pregnancies, and unwanted pregnancies due to forced sex or rape. In case of failure of contraceptive being used , I-pill can be a effective way to avert a pregnancy without going through the mental and physical trauma of abortion. I-pill is readily available at most pharmacies and chemist shops around the world, and one does not need a doctor’s prescription to buy it, making it a very private and personal way to avoid an unwanted pregnancy.

Can I-pill Affect Periods Cycle?

Withdrawal bleeding is generally observed 3-4 days after consuming I-pill. The periods will come after about a month, or earlier in some women. A delay in periods also cannot be ruled out. Though an isolated use of I-pill will not affect the cycles, prolonged or regular use of emergency contraceptive pills can cause damage to your regular menses cycle.

Are There Any Side Effects Of I-pill?

I-pill or any other contraceptive pill should never be made an excuse to practice unsafe sex – and should not be taken as a regular contraceptive pill. As the name suggests, the I-pill 72 is primarily and emergency contraceptive pill, and some known and lesser known 7 minor and major side-effects of I-pill that you should be aware of are:

  1. Being a hormonal pill, it should be used in case of emergencies only as long term un-administered usage can create menstrual and ovarian issues
  2. I-pill is not an abortion pill – it can only stop a pregnancy from happening and not abort an existing pregnancy
  3. There are different views on whether I-pill is safe for breastfeeding mothers- it is best to consult your doctor if you are lactating.
  4. Fatigue, abdominal pain, breast tenderness, nausea and vomiting are some of the common side effects of I-pill which should go away in a day or two
  5. Your menses can either start early or get delayed after taking I-pill. Periods can become unpredictable if you depend on I-pill more than once in a menstrual cycle
  6. Vaginal discharge is also observed by some women who take emergency contraceptive pills. Regular use may make spotting a constant issue
  7. Hormonal imbalance in the body can lead to a series of headaches, mood swings, skin allergies and acne

What Precautions Should Be Taken After Consuming I-pill?

Because I-pill contains Levonorgestrel, women who are allergic to it should consult the doctor before consuming it. You should also know that it does not protect you from HIV/AIDS or other sexually transmitted diseases. I-pill should only be used after an isolated episode of unsafe sex and should not be consumed as a regular contraceptive measure. Infact, you should avoid taking them more than twice in a 6 months period.

Can I Still Get Pregnant After Taking An I-pill?

I-pill only makes the endometrial lining unfavorable for implantation of embryo, that is it makes prevents the sperm from meeting the egg and fertilizing it by delaying ovulation – but if ovulation has already happened and fertilization has taken place, you can still get pregnant even after taking the I-pill. If you periods get delayed or you experience the common pregnancy symptoms, it is best to talk to your doctor and decide on the further course of action.

All in all, the I-pill is one of the most commonly available and highly effective emergency contraceptive pill – and it should be reserved for emergencies only.