SYNOPSIS: BIRTH CONTROL PILLS EXPLAINED. A dialogue. “Baby-la-hot” and her pharmacist are discussing the fact she has taken postinor-2, twice already in the last three days; and the inherent consequences of this.
“Baby-la-hot”: A concerned patient
Pharm: The Pharmacist.
A modern Community Pharmacy.
‘Baby -la-hot’ walks into the pharmacy in a hurry. She looks unsettled. She looks as though she wanted to get more than drugs… like she has some questions for the pharmacist.
Pharm: Good day Ma’am
‘Baby-la-hot’: Good day Pharm!
She speaks in a quiet voice, suddenly looking very wary and uneasy. With her left-hand cupped around her mouth, she whispered:
“Please I’d like to have Postinor 2 “
Pharm: Sure, ma’am
The Pharmacist is about reaching for the drug on the bottom shelf when ‘Baby-la-hot’ calls out.
Baby la hot: Pharm, please wait! …eeh….Is it okay to take postinor 2 after every unprotected sex?
Baby-la-hot speaks very quietly, as she continued staring at her shoes. The Pharmacist pauses, mid-way, steps a little closer, then leads baby-la-hot into the office for counseling. Once comfortable in the private space, ‘Baby la hot’ continues talking, now with more confidence.
Baby-la -hot: See Pharm, this is my fourth Postinor 2 in 3 days. I don’t want to get pregnant now, so I feel I need to take it each time I’m with my man…..but I don’t know if it’s okay?… I mean, like it feels too much!
The Pharmacist begins counseling
Pharm: I understand that sex is a very important part of adult life; a good and satisfying sex life is encouraged for a healthy life. As you well know, pregnancy can be a consequence of sex and its okay not to want to have a child right now. You can still enjoy sex with your guy without the worry of an unplanned pregnancy by using contraceptives.
Contraceptives aim to prevent pregnancy. A woman can get pregnant if a man’s sperm reaches her eggs (ova)…so, in the broadest terms contraceptives stop this from happening by:
Baby-la-lot leans in, with her arms folded over the mahogany table that separated both of them. After a brief pause to gauge her audience, the pharmacist continues while counting out with her fingers.
- Keeping the eggs and sperm apart.
- Stopping eggs from being produced, what experts call “delaying-ovulation”
- Or stopping the combined sperm and egg…that’s like the fertilized egg from attaching to the walls of the womb, from where pregnancy develops.
Oral contraceptives or Birth control pills are hormone-based medicines you take by mouth, to prevent pregnancy. Depending on your situation, you may need to take a daily pill or an emergency pill like Postinor 2.
Postinor-2 as an emergency contraceptive should only be used in emergency situations or back-up for your regular birth control. If you happen to used it more than once in a menstrual cycle, it is more likely to upset your menstrual cycle (period). Besides, Postinor-2 does not work as well as regular a method of contraception.
Baby la hot: toh, Pharm, how does this postinor 2 thing work sef?
Pharm: Levonorgestrel, a female hormone is the main component of P2. It delays or stops the release of eggs from the ovaries, so that when the sperm is released, it won’t find any egg available to fertilise. .
Baby la hot: How many days of protection do I have after taking postinor 2?
Pharm: Going by the fact that it delays egg release from the ovaries by 5-7 days, you should have about 5 days protection. Sperm can’t last more than 5 days in there.
If you find that you need an emergency contraception like P2, more often than twice in a menstrual cycle, you should look into other methods of contraception like condoms, spermicides- that essentially kills off any released sperm, regular oral contraceptives, Inter-uterine devices, hormonal patches or implants.
These are safer, and more reliable in preventing pregnancy, than P2.
Baby la hot: My friend told me that Ampiclox or Augmentin can also prevent pregnancy. She says I can take the two together. How true is that?
Pharm: That’s false. Augmentin and Ampiclox cannot prevent pregnancy. They are not contraceptives. They are antibiotics which is used to treat certain types of bacteria infections. You should never use antibiotics without consulting your doctor or pharmacist. Misusing antibiotics could make infectious bacteria resistant to their effects and when this happens previous treatable illness is now life-threatening.
Baby la hot: Alright. Thank you so much. In that case, I won’t be needing this (referring to postinor 2), since I took one just yesterday.
Pharm: No you won’t. Try using the contraceptive methods I just mentioned for the rest of the month. You are welcome to read through these pamphlets, to help you choose the method best for you. If you have any further questions don’t hesitate to drop by so we talk.
Slow fade to black, as baby-la-hot seemed to leave the office with the pamphlets in hand.
Emergency contraceptives like Postinor-2 are for emergencies only! If you think you need a daily and more reliable means of preventing pregnancy, speak with your healthcare provider, don’t be shy, trust me, there are no judgements there.
Be smart, stay safe ladies.
Pharm Jibril Munira A.