Oral contraceptives (birth control pills) are medications that prevent pregnancy. They are one method of birth control. Oral contraceptives are hormonal preparations that may contain one combination of the hormones estrogen and progestin or progestin alone. Combinations of estrogen and progestin prevent pregnancy by inhibiting the release of the hormones luteinizing hormone (LH) and follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) from the pituitary gland in the brain. LH and FSH play key roles in the development of the egg and preparation of the lining of the uterus for implantation of the embryo. Progestin also makes the uterine mucus that surrounds the egg more difficult for sperm to penetrate and, therefore, for fertilization to take place. In some women, progestin inhibits ovulation (release of the egg).
There are different types of combination birth control pills that contain estrogen and progestin that are referred to as monophasic, biphasic, or triphasic. However, in this article, we will look at the difference and similarities between Postpill and Postinor 2.
Similarities Between Postpill and Postinor 2
Both are emergency contraception: Postpill and Postinor 2 are both emergency contraceptive medications. These are methods of contraception that can be used to prevent pregnancy after sexual intercourse. These are recommended for use within 3-5 days, but are more effective the sooner they are used after the act of intercourse.
They Both Contain Levonorgestrel: both Postpill and Postinor 2 contain Levonorgestrel (LNG), a synthetic progestogen similar to progesterone used in contraception and hormone therapy.
They are both Oral Contraceptives: oral contraceptives, are medications you take by mouth to prevent pregnancy. Postpill and Postinor 2 are both oral contraceptives.
The same mode of action: both Postpill and Postinor 2 contain the same active ingredient, as such, they both prevent pregnancy by preventing the release of an egg from the ovary or preventing fertilization of the egg by sperm (male reproductive cells). It also may work by changing the lining of the uterus (womb) to prevent the development of a pregnancy.
Differences Between Postpill and Postinor 2
Quantity of Active Ingredient: although they both contain the same active ingredient, Postpill contains 1.5mg Levonorgestrel while Postinor 2 contains 075mg Levonorgestrel.
Presentation: a pack of Postpill comes with a single tablet while a pack of Postinor 2 comes with two tablets.
Dosage: for Postinor 2, the first tablet is taken as soon as possible after unprotected intercourse and the second tablet exactly 12 hours after the first. While postpill contains only one tablet which is taken after unprotected intercourse.
Who can use emergency contraception?
Any woman or girl of reproductive age may need emergency contraception to avoid an unwanted pregnancy. There are no absolute medical contraindications to the use of emergency contraception. There are no age limits for the use of emergency contraception.
In what situations can emergency contraception be used?
Emergency contraception can be used in a number of situations following sexual intercourse. These include:
- When no contraceptive has been used.
- Sexual assault when the woman was not protected by an effective contraceptive method.
- When there is a concern of possible contraceptive failure, from improper or incorrect use, such as:
- condom breakage, slippage, or incorrect use;
- 3 or more consecutively missed combined oral contraceptive pills;
- more than 3 hours late from the usual time of intake of the progestogen-only pill (minipill), or more than 27 hours after the previous pill;
- more than 12 hours late from the usual time of intake of the desogestrel-containing pill (0.75 mg) or more than 36 hours after the previous pill;
- more than 2 weeks late for the norethisterone enanthate (NET-EN) progestogen-only injection;
- more than 4 weeks late for the depot-medroxyprogesterone acetate (DMPA) progestogen-only injection;
- more than 7 days late for the combined injectable contraceptive (CIC);
- dislodgment, breakage, tearing, or early removal of a diaphragm or cervical cap;
- failed withdrawal (e.g. ejaculation in the vagina or on external genitalia);
- failure of a spermicide tablet or film to melt before intercourse;
- miscalculation of the abstinence period, or failure to abstain or use a barrier method on the fertile days of the cycle when using fertility awareness-based methods; or
- expulsion of an intrauterine contraceptive device (IUD) or hormonal contraceptive implant.
An advance supply of Emergency contraception may be given to a woman to ensure that she will have them available when needed and can take them as soon as possible after unprotected intercourse.
What happens if I miss a dose?
Since levonorgestrel emergency contraceptive is used as a single dose for postpill and a second dose for postinor 2 after 12 hours, it does not have a daily dosing schedule.
What happens if I overdose on postpill or postinor 2?
Because levonorgestrel emergency contraceptive is supplied as a single tablet in an exact strength, an overdose is unlikely to occur when the levonorgestrel is used as directed. Do not take more than one tablet for Postpill and more than 2 tablets for Postinor 2 within 24 hours.
What should I avoid while taking levonorgestrel emergency contraceptive?
Levonorgestrel emergency contraceptive will not protect you from sexually transmitted diseases including HIV and AIDS. Using a condom is the only way to protect yourself from these diseases. Avoid having unprotected sex.
Levonorgestrel emergency contraceptive side effects
Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction: hives, difficulty breathing, swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
Call your doctor or seek emergency medical help if you have severe pain in your lower stomach or side. This could be a sign of a tubal pregnancy (a pregnancy that implants in the fallopian tube instead of the uterus). A tubal pregnancy is a medical emergency.
Common side effects may include:
- mild stomach pain;
- breast pain or tenderness;
- nausea, vomiting, diarrhea;
- headache, dizziness;
- feeling tired; or
- changes in your menstrual periods.
This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
What other drugs will affect levonorgestrel emergency contraceptive?
Certain other medications can make levonorgestrel emergency contraceptives less effective, which may result in pregnancy. Ask a doctor or pharmacist if levonorgestrel emergency contraceptive is safe to use if you are using any of the following medications:
- rifampin; or
- seizure medication–carbamazepine, felbamate, fosphenytoin, phenobarbital, phenytoin, primidone.
This list is not complete. Other drugs may affect levonorgestrel, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products like Kayan Mata. Not all possible drug interactions are listed here.
If you take either Postpill or Postinor 2 within 72 hours after you’ve had unprotected sex, both can reduce the risk of pregnancy by up to 87% if taken as directed. If you take either of them within 24 hours, it is much more effective. But you should know that emergency contraceptive medications are not as effective as regular contraception.
Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.
Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances. SEE: How to Spot Fake Birth Control Pills