Amritsar:emergency contraceptive pills?..think again

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Gynecologists sound caution to women resorting to “emergency contraceptive pills” to prevent unwanted pregnancy

By Rashmi Talwar

Amritsar April 7, 2008 —————-

Men and women who practice unsafe sex and then resort to the “emergency contraceptive pills” to prevent unwanted pregnancies need to be aware of certain counter effects of using the “pill’ .

Vigorously marketed by some pharmaceutical companies that claim its cent percent success, the “pill” is far from safe as noted by some gynecologists in Amritsar.
Several cases have been reported in the city where woman were found to have developed “Ectopic” pregnancy post usage of these pills . The ‘Ectopic’ pregnancy is when the pregnancy takes place other than the uterus. Most commonly these pregnancies can take place in the fallopian tubes besides other areas could be ovaries, cervix or even abdomen and can be fatal for mother.
A gynecologist of the city requesting anonymity revealed that at least three patients had come to her for treatment in the past 3-4 months with severe abdominal pain. When tested it was found that they had ‘Ectopic’ pregnancies and surprisingly all three had been consuming the ’emergency contraceptive pill’.
“Their pregnancy occurred in the fallopian tube and caused severe pain in the abdomen with bleeding . The condition is life threatening as contrary to pregnancy in uterus as the most natural environment for the foetus, the egg fertilizes and is implanted in the fallopian tube of the patient”, the gynecologist added
Another gynecologist explained that as per medical reports the movement of the ovum or the egg is controlled by natural hormones. The pill is targeted to change the natural balance and course of hormones that serves to control the ‘unwanted’ pregnancy. However the pill is also known to be causing imbalance in hormones leading to unnatural changes that have resulted in ‘Ectopic’ pregnancies. Undetected or ignored cases of Ectopic pregnancies may lead to rupture of the tube internally causing death, the doctor contended.

The gynecologist who dealt with three such cases in a private hospital of the city said “when some patients came to me with severe abdominal pain their ultrasound proved the presence of the foetus in the fallopian tube. Subsequently a number of such cases have been recorded in the city wherein patient had felt safe in the knowledge of having taken the emergency contraceptive pill to prevent pregnancy but have landed in a serious situation”.
She advised that companies advertising such pills should be asked to fully inform the patient about the effects of the pill and possible outcomes through wrapper information or in the advertisements to help them make a sound decision on its usage.
“But vested interests play a pivotal role in keeping this information under wraps thereby putting under threat the lives of women users ” she added . Amongst the most common symptoms recorded by some doctors for the presence of Ectopic pregnancies could be a missed period, symptoms during actual pregnancy , abnormal bleeding, pain in the lower abdomen or the pelvis. …………..eom

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