The standard once-a-day birth control pill could soon be subject to stories beginning with the phrase,”Back in my day…” if one group of American and Swedish medical researchers have any say in the matter.
According to a just-released report in the most recent issue of the Journal of Family Planning and Reproductive Health Care called “Develop after-sex contraceptive pill for routine use, urge researchers,” a once-monthly, post-fertilization pill would be “welcomed by” and beneficial to many women around the world.
Whoa, you might say: post-fertilization? If you’re like the conservative-leaning politicians the report is aimed at, this phrase might catch you off-guard and make you a little uncomfy about the prospect of taking this particular kind of pill. According to the report’s lead author Elizabeth Raymond, however, post-sex contraceptives don’t necessarily translate to “wrong” or “bad.”
“We need to stop extolling pre-fertilization contraception as a good thing, because it implies that something that works after fertilization is bad.” In fact, she pointed out that some legal methods of birth control, such as IUDs, can and often do work post-fertilization to prevent pregnancy.
The difference between the potential post-fertilization birth control—the science for which, by the way, already exists—and Plan B is that it can be taken at any time during the month, regardless of when or how often a woman has sex, even if a period has already been missed.
Conceivably, this sort of birth control would give women absolute control over whether or not they get pregnant, without having to monitor the tedious scheduling that’s normally associated with birth control pills (daily reminders, a week off to make sure you’re still getting your period, no sex because of a forgotten pill, etc.)
“Importantly, post-fertilization methods would eliminate the conceptual and logistical challenge of needing to obtain and initiate contraception before having sex, which can be daunting for both women and men,” the authors say.
Regardless of what side of the argument you’re on, this is definitely an interesting development, and one that’s worth talking about. Would you ever sign up for a once-a-month birth control pill that’s taken after sex? We’d love to hear your thoughts below!