I Pill – Dosage, Price, Side Effects & Risks to Avoid Pregnancy Safely
The i-pill is meant for emergency contraception. It is NOT a regular contraceptive method and is unsafe to take more than once a month. Take the pill immediately after unprotected sex. It works best when taken within 24 hours. You may take it up to 72 hours after unprotected sex; after that the pill may not work. (3) I Pill price: ₹110/- per strip (1 Tablet). Dosage: 1 tablet/once.
A dosage of more than the one I pill tablet a month amounts to emergency contraceptive pill abuse exposing you to serious I pill side effects.
- What are emergency oral contraceptive pills
- i Pill Dosage and Price
- How to use the I pill tablet to avoid unplanned pregnancy
- Oral Contraceptive Pills effectiveness
- Facts about emergency contraceptive pills
- 1. It is readily available, but it is not your regular OTC
- 2. Emergency or morning-after contraceptive pills are not for regular use
- 3. Its effectiveness decreases with time after unprotected sex
- 4. I pill is not for everyone
- 5. The morning after Pill effectiveness is not 100%, it has a 10% failure rate
- I pill side effects (Side Effects of Contraceptive Pills)
- 6 Cheaper Alternative Emergency Contraceptive pill brands
- How does the I pill work?
- Why emergency birth control pills are NOT abortion pills
- Why emergency birth control pills are NOT Sex Pills
- Nutritional deficiencies caused by Emergency Contraceptive Pills
- FAQs about I pill (Emergency Contraceptive Pills)
What are emergency oral contraceptive pills
I think you will agree with me when I say:
That today, in India the lifestyle, attitude and sexual dynamics are much different from what they were a decade ago. Even now 78% of pregnancies in India are unplanned, and at least 25% are unwanted, according to FOGSI (1)
Young adults are not worried to explore their personal and sexual freedom anymore. So whether it is an unplanned night of unprotected passion or an accident in the bedroom, it may happen to anyone at some point in time.
And when that does happen, what is your Plan B?
Emergency oral Contraception Pill is an effective method that can protect millions of women from unwanted pregnancy. (16, 17, 18)
Approximately 40% of all pregnancies worldwide are unintended, with higher unintended pregnancy rates in developing (57 per 1,000 women aged 15–44 years of age) vs developed regions (42 per 1,000 women aged 15–44 years of age). (20, 21)
In India, emergency oral contraceptive pills were introduced in 2002 by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) and were made an over the counter (OTC) drug in 2005. (16, 17, 18)
However, even today less than one-third of women are aware of ECP and less than 1% have ever used it. (16, 17, 18)
To be pregnant or not after intercourse, should be a well-planned choice for every woman. And with the various contraceptive options available today we recommend that all women must be aware of all their options and not leave things to chance.
Emergency contraceptive pills such as I Pill and Unwanted 72 are popular among women.
Birth control comes in many forms. Here is a pictorial representation of various methods used over the years.
You can now get pills (like the I-pill or Unwanted-72), patches, and even insertions (like the copper T) that are commonly used to prevent pregnancy in women. They all accomplish birth control by using hormones to block the pathway to the female eggs.
Emergency Contraceptive pills also known as sex pills and even mistakenly called as abortion pills by some, are usually a combination of both oestrogen and progestin, or even only just progestin. Both of these types of abortion pills have the same function, to prevent an unplanned pregnancy.
Emergency oral contraceptive pills are by far the most common and popular form of birth control on the market today, mainly due to their non-intrusive nature and ease-of-use.
Because use of contraceptives like the I-pill involves the manipulation of the body’s natural hormones, there are noticeable effects of taking them every day. Some may be a benefit, while others are a consequence.
Image Courtesy: India Today
i Pill Dosage and Price
|Manufacturer of I pill||Piramal Enterprises|
|I pill Dosage||Single tablet/once|
|I pill Tablet Price||110 Rs/ per strip (1 tab)|
How to use the I pill tablet to avoid unplanned pregnancy
- The I pill is an emergency contraceptive pill manufactured by Piramal Healthcare. The active ingredient present in the I-pill Emergency Contraceptive Tablet is Levonorgestrel.
- Each tablet contains 1.5 mg of Levonorgestrel (Progestogen).
- The I Pill Packet comes as a single oral tablet which you need to swallow with water after eating some food.
- Pregnancy is the state when a fertilised egg attaches itself to the womb. This process can take 2 to 4 days. You need to act within this time frame to avoid the risk of pregnancy.
- You should take I-pill as soon as possible and not later than 72 hours. But the sooner you take I pill, the more effective it is. So you have 72 hours to prevent an unplanned pregnancy after unprotected sex. (13, 22)
- Taken within 24 hours of unprotected sex offers up to 95% protection from pregnancy. (13, 22)
- Taken between 25-48 hours after unprotected intercourse provides 85% protection from possible pregnancy. (13, 22)
- And finally taken between 49-72 hours after sex provides only 58% protection. Taking it any later than that, may or may not work. (13, 22)
If you think it’s healthy to take emergency contraception more than twice in 6 months, then you’re being foolish. It is designed for emergency use only, the long-term side-effects of high-dose hormonal drugs are not known, but they are definitely not a blessing to any woman’s fertility.
— Dr Rekha D, Gynaecologist
Oral Contraceptive Pills effectiveness
Image Courtesy: onlinedoctor.lloydspharmacy.com
There is no contraceptive method invented by man that comes with a 100% guarantee. All have certain failure rates. That said, emergency contraceptive pills have a good success rate at avoiding pregnancy when taken within the stipulated time. (13, 22)
NOTE: If i-pill tablet is consumed post establishment of pregnancy, then the i-pill tablet will NOT have any abortive action on the pregnancy. i-Pill does NOT abort an existing pregnancy. It only prevents conception.
Facts about emergency contraceptive pills
The most important things that you need to know about I pill uses are below:
1. It is readily available, but it is not your regular OTC
You do not require a doctor’s prescription to purchase it. The I pill is an over the counter emergency contraceptive pill available in any local chemist shop. However, please use it with judgment, the best thing would be to use other methods of contraception.
2. Emergency or morning-after contraceptive pills are not for regular use
I pill use is meant only for emergency contraception. You should not use as a should not be taken as a regular contraceptive method.
3. Its effectiveness decreases with time after unprotected sex
The biggest problem that many women have when it comes to emergency contraceptive pills is taking it at the earliest. The longer you delay after intercourse, the higher is your risk of conceiving.
Therefore the pill is to be taken soon after unprotected sex. It should be consumed preferably within 24 hours and before 72 hours or else taking the medicine may be useless. (13, 22)
4. I pill is not for everyone
The manufacturer of I pill, most popular emergency contraceptive pills in India, Piramal advises that the tablet is for women between ages 25 to 45 only. It does not give details of the possible problems that may occur for customers younger or older than this age group.
5. The morning after Pill effectiveness is not 100%, it has a 10% failure rate
I pill side effects (Side Effects of Contraceptive Pills)
The I pill has many side effects and may impact your hormonal health if abused. It is a one-time emergency solution only.
Piramal, the I-pill manufacturer, claims that I pill side effects are minimal, and it is safe to use for almost every woman. They say that all the below-listed I pill side effects should stop within a day or two.
Quite a few women have reported suffering from the side effects of contraceptive pills. (23, 24, 25, 26)
Common side effects of oral contraceptives include:
- Spotting or breakthrough bleeding
- Breast tenderness
- Weight gain
- Missed periods
- Mood Changes
- Vaginal discharge
- Decreased libido
- Painful mensuration
- Flu syndrome
- Eye problems such as blurred vision or loss of vision
Side effects of contraceptives on periods
One of the significant drawbacks of an emergency contraceptive pill including i Pill or Unwanted 72 is its effects on periods. I pill side effects on period can unsettle you, particularly when taken once too often as it may cause your periods to become irregular and unreliable. It can make your next period come up to a week late or early. It may even make the bleeding lighter or heavier, depending on which time of your cycle you take the emergency contraceptive pill. Repeated careless usage may impact the menstrual cycle permanently.
Long-term Side Effects (Emergency Contraceptive Pills Side Effects)
If not wisely taken below are some severe side effects of contraceptive pills. Please also note that these oral contraceptive pills side effects could be lasting:
1. Your Fertility May Suffer from frequent I pill usage
Taking birth control can mask a woman’s fertility problems. Due to this, treatment for these problems may not happen in time, and conceiving a child could be out of the cards entirely.
Another fertility issue with the contraceptive pill is the fact that it takes a significant amount of time for your body to adjust back to normal. Experts have claimed it may take up to a year! So remember to take an extended break from the I Pill when you decide to start a family.
2. Your Birth Control Status on The Pill varies – Other medicines can make it useless.
Multiple prescription and non-prescription medicines can interact with the functions of birth control. Most people, even physicians don’t account for this, which is a major cause of birth control pregnancies. For example medicines like antibiotics can make your birth control useless.
3. Weight Gain May Happen
One of the I pill side effects, or for that matter, the side effects of most contraceptive pills are the body changes that occur. The extra & synthetic version of your natural hormones, in these pills, profoundly affect your body.
All of which are not even known or documented. But the most common thing that women experience is weight gain, and this weight is hard to get off as it is related to hormones and not the diet.
Breast growth is another common side effect when on the contraceptive pills.
4. Doesn’t Protect from Sexually Transmitted Diseases
Contraceptive pills do NOT protect against sexually transmitted illnesses and diseases.
STD’s & HIV are real problems that happen to real people.
Don’t risk HIV.
The pill is not enough when engaging multiple partners. The only way to reduce your risk of STD’s & HIV is to use condoms.
Manufacturer Piramal’s I pill use Advice:
Piramal cautions that there are chances of unexpected vaginal bleeding after ingestion of the I pill. However, Piramal says that this is not dangerous and should clear up by the time you have your next period.
(Please note that this advice by the manufacturer is basis an assumption that the emergency contraceptive such as I-pill is used only for emergency contraception and not as a regular contraception method. Even the manufacturer is not aware of the implications of repeated usage/abuse of this medication. No long-term studies have been conducted to find out about this.)
Our I pill use advice:
While emergency contraceptive pills like I pill and unwanted-72 are very effective in the case of an unplanned pregnancy, they are not as effective when used as regular contraception. Do NOT use the emergency I pill for regular contraception as too many women have reported adverse side effects with overuse of this medication. Our advice is to use condoms. Though expensive, there are virtually no side effects, and they also protect against diseases like STD’s/HIV.
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6 Cheaper Alternative Emergency Contraceptive pill brands
Below are some popular emergency contraceptive pill options from some reputed manufacturers:
|UNWANTED 72||Single tablet/once||85 Rs/ per strip(1 tab)||Mankind Pharma Ltd|
|SIRF EK TABLET||Single tablet/once||60 Rs/ per strip(1 tab)||Cipla Ltd|
|GUARD PILL||Single tablet/once||100 Rs/ per strip(1 tab)||Akumentis Healthcare Ltd|
|FREE LADY TABLET||Single tablet/once||22.50 Rs/ per strip(1 tab)||BestoChem Formulations India Ltd|
|NIEL 72 TABLET||Single tablet/once||10 Rs/ per strip(1 tab)||Lupin Ltd|
|INSTAFREE 72 TABLET||Single tablet/once||100 Rs/ per strip (1 Tab)||Macleods Pharmaceuticals Pvt Ltd|
|NOWILL TABLET||Single tablet/once||73.8 Rs/ per strip (1 Tab)||ZEE Laboratories|
How does the I pill work?
Image Courtesy: India Today
I pill functions like any other contraceptive. Some different types of contraceptives are condoms, Intra-uterine devices like copper-T. The primary ingredient in most emergency contraception pills is levonorgestrel. Levonorgestrel is a synthetic progesterone hormone. Levonorgestrel is the hormone that forms the main part in most birth control pills. (14, 15)
Summarizing this information, we can say that hormonal emergency contraception, like the I Pill, is just a super high dose birth control pills where its primary action is to stop the fertilisation of eggs by the sperms.
Why emergency birth control pills are NOT abortion pills
The I pill is NOT an abortion pill, but a female hormone medication. It can prevent pregnancy but CANNOT terminate an existing pregnancy. So if one misses their periods after taking the I-pill, it is possible that it didn’t work for them. In that case, consult a doctor ASAP for other options.
At the same time if you are looking for abortion pills, please connect with your health care practitioner before you take any action.
Why emergency birth control pills are NOT Sex Pills
When you say sex pill, you need to be clear about what you need.
The I pill does NOT offer protection against HIV/AIDS or other sexually transmitted diseases.
If you are looking to avoid unwanted pregnancy, an oral contraceptive pill such as the I pill is right for you, but only for a narrow time window.
As I pill does not protect against any sexually transmitted diseases when in relation with multiple partners, condoms are the better choice of contraceptives.
Nutritional deficiencies caused by Emergency Contraceptive Pills
There is no concrete body of research that indicates the side effects of the single morning-after emergency contraceptive pill. However, the every day low hormone birth control pills, favoured by women instead of other contraceptives like condoms, deplete your body of the following essential nutrients, including:
- Vitamin B2
- Vitamin B12
- Folic Acid
- Vitamin B6
- Vitamin C
If the low-hormone everyday birth control pills cause so many deficiencies, one can only wonder what regular usage of the super high hormonal dose of I-Pill will do to a woman’s nutritional status.
If you have been on any kind of birth control pill, we recommend that you explore other means of contraception and supplement with a high-quality multivitamin for at least a month. This is even more important if you are a vegetarian.
And finally, if you have been on any kind of hormonal pill and are now planning a pregnancy consider supplementation of the above vitamins as absolutely mandatory and do remember to take at least a 3-month break from the pills before conceiving.
Hope you liked this article. If you did, do leave a comment.
Thanks for reading.
FAQs about I pill (Emergency Contraceptive Pills)
Q1: I pill delays period for how many Days?
According to the manufacturer, the I pill has no long-term effect on your menstrual cycle. Most of the women should get their periods as expected. Their menstrual cycle will also continue as usual.
However, many women have reported that they have their period earlier or later than expected. Variation in intensity (lighter or heavier) has been seen as well.
After consumption of I pill, if your period is delayed more than a week, or if you have any other health concern, contact your healthcare professional.
You need to apply your best judgment while using I pill; it is only for emergency. If you use I pill more than once within a menstrual cycle or more than once a month, it may impact your menstrual cycle. You may also experience spotting for a few days.
Q2: Can I pill delay periods?
What I Pill is not intended to is to alter your menstrual cycle. However, after consumption of I-pill, most women get their periods as expected, but some women may have their period up to a week earlier or a week later than expected. If it’s more than a week late, take a pregnancy test.
Q3: Please explain I pill side effects on future pregnancy in Hindi
Q4: What is Morning after pill failure rate?
All morning-after pills, like the I Pill and the Unwanted-72 pills, come with a 10% failure rate. So 1 in 10 women WILL end up with an unwanted pregnancy.
Q5: What is Morning after pill medical name?
The morning after pill is progesterone based. The chemical name for this medication is Levonorgestrel.
Q6: How long can you take the morning after pill?
The morning after pill must be taken within 72 hours. However to ensure 95% effectiveness in stopping an unwanted pregnancy take it within 24 hrs of intercourse.
Q7: Does the morning after pill works after 3 days?
It may or may not work. Delaying taking the I pill after 72 hours (3 days) is seeking a chance with the pregnancy. In such a case monitor your periods and if they are unusually delayed, check for pregnancy with a urine pregnancy test and blood hCG level (human chorionic gonadotropin). Consult a physician who can help you.
Q8: Do you need a prescription for the morning after pill?
No prescription is required. It is an over the counter medication.
Q9: How effective is Morning after pill after 24 hours?
- Taken within 24 hours of unprotected sex offers up to 95% protection from pregnancy.
- Taken between 25-48 hours after unprotected intercourse provides 85% protection from possible pregnancy.
- And finally taken between 49-72 hours after sex provides only 58% protection. Taking it any later than that, may or may not work.
Q10: How much does a morning after pill costs?
Multiple brands of the morning-after pill are available over the counter. Price ranges from 10 rupees/ per pill to 110 rupees/ per pill. The i Pill brand by Piramal is priced at 110 Rupees/per strip.
Q11: How often can you take the morning after pill?
Very rarely. Only for unplanned emergencies. Do not use as a regular contraceptive. One tablet is sufficient to stop unwanted pregnancy. Doubling the dose does not increase the effectiveness, but it does cause increased side effects. Do not take more than one pill without consulting a physician.
Q12: How to take Morning after pill?
Take morning after pill within 24 hours of intercourse for 95% effectiveness. It can cause stomach upset in some women, so always take it along with a meal.
Q13: When will I get my next periods after morning after pills?
As per manufacturers use of morning-after pill does not affect period and it will be on time. However, periods can present a week earlier or later than the scheduled time. If your periods are delayed by more than a week, get a pregnancy test done.
Q14: Can I get pregnant after Morning after pill?
Yes. There is a 5% chance of pregnancy even if taken immediately after intercourse. Also if unprotected sex occurs again more than 12 hours after the taking the emergency contraceptive pill, another dose will be required.
Q15: How effective is Morning after pill within 12 hours?
Morning-after pills are 95% effective within 12 hours.
Q16: How long after sex does the morning after pill work?
Up to 72 hours.
Q17: Is I pill safe during breastfeeding?
Doctors consider it safe to take emergency contraceptive pills during breastfeeding. Progestin-based morning-after pills such as the I pill and unwanted-72 are considered to be safer than estrogen-based contraception.
You see high estrogen has been linked to low milk supply in nursing moms. So some emergency contraceptive pills may impact your milk supply. I recommend you always read the literature that comes with the tablet and if possible discuss with your doctor as well.
Finally, do remember that morning after pills should be a last resort. Plan for other means of contraception in advance.
Q18: Is I pill safe for breastfeeding mothers?
Yes. Unless you had gestational diabetes during pregnancy. If you did, talk to your doctor about the safety of using the i-pill while breastfeeding. A 1998 study of Latina women (with 900 subjects) found that women who had been diagnosed with gestational diabetes and then took the pill while breastfeeding had an almost threefold risk of developing type II diabetes within a year.
Q19: Which are the best contraceptive pill in India without side effects?
There is no such pill. All contraceptive pills will have side effects. If you are looking for something without side effects, go for condoms.
Q20: How to prevent pregnancy after sex without pills?
Condoms are recommended. They have the considerable advantage of preventing STD’s.
Q21: How does the emergency pill works?
Q22: Is there any 5 day emergency contraceptive pill?
Levonorgestrel pills, including the brands i-pill and unwanted-72, are up to 58 % effective when taken within 72 hours (three days) after unprotected sex. They continue to reduce the risk of pregnancy up to 120 hours (five days) after unprotected sex, but they are less effective as time passes. One study has even shown the morning-after-pill to be 72% – 87% effective after 72 hours or 3 days. If the usual time limit (<72 hours) has expired, the morning-after pill should be recommended if an intrauterine contraceptive device is not available. Emergency contraceptive pills have a favourable success rate after 72 hours, with a pregnancy rate that is significantly lower than would be expected if no contraceptive were administered. (2, 3)
There no emergency contraceptive pills created explicitly for 5 days in India.
Q23: Where can I get emergency contraceptive pills?
Progestin-based emergency contraceptives are freely available over the counter (OTC)
Q24: I am taking two emergency contraceptive pills, is it advisable?
No. One pill is sufficient to stop unwanted pregnancy. Doubling the dose does not increase the effectiveness, but it may cause increased side effects. Do not take more than 1 pill without consulting a physician.
Q25. Is I pill an abortion pill?
I pill is an emergency contraceptive pill to avoid an unplanned pregnancy. It only works if you are not pregnant by preventing fertilisation of the egg. What it only means is that you can not terminate a pregnancy with I pill.
Q26. How safe is I pill use on a regular basis for contraception?
It is not advisable at all. Long-term use side effects have not been studied for regular use of emergency contraception pills like the I pill. Also compared to other regular methods of contraception it has lower efficacy. Doctors in India have also reported finding an increasingly high level of hormone changes in young women who are using the emergency pill three or four times a month. (4)
Q27. What is the better single dosage of 1.5mg Levonorgestrel or two dosage of 0.75mg Levonorgestrel?
Studies suggest that, emergency contraceptive regimen of single-dose levonorgestrel is not inferior in efficacy to the two-dose regimen. One can take single levonorgestrel dose (1.5 mg) to substitute two 0.75 mg doses 12 or 24 h apart. With either regimen, the earlier the treatment is given, the more effective it seems to be. (13)
Q28 Who can use Emergency contreception.
Adolescent girls who have attained menarche and have had unprotected sexual intercourse can be given emergency contraception.(22)
- Adolescent girls can take levonorgestrel unless they are known to be pregnant or have undiagnosed abnormal vaginal bleeding. (22)
- Adolescent girls can take estrogen-containing emergency contraception if they are not known to be pregnant, and have no history of stroke, estrogen-sensitive tumour or thrombophlebitis, active liver disease or untreated hypertension. (22)
Q29. Situations where emergency contraceptive pills should be considered
- Totally unprotected intercourse (22) (22)
- Ejaculation onto genitals (22)
- Coitus interruptus
- Condom breakage or slippage (22)
- Intrauterine contraceptive device expulsion or midcycle removal (22)
- Spermicide alone at midcycle (22)
- More than two missed oral contraceptive pills or pills started more than two days late (22)
- Missed minipill (progesterone only) within 48 h (22)
- Delay in getting scheduled contraceptive injection (22)
- Sexual assault (not on oral contraceptive pill) (22)
- Condom alone or spermicide alone plus recent teratogen exposure (eg, Accutane) (22)
- Advance-of-use prescription for any girl who does not want to become pregnant and who may find herself in one of the above situations (22)
- In India, Banking on the ‘Morning After’ Pill, time.com
- Saxena P, Mishra A, Nigam A. Evaluation of pharmacists’ services for dispensing emergency contraceptive pills in Delhi, India: A mystery shopper study. Indian J Community Med [serial online] 2016 [cited 2017 Mar 9];41:198-202. Available from: http://www.ijcm.org.in/text.asp?2016/41/3/198/183595
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