Failed contraception or unprotected sex can be super nerve-wrecking, when you want to avoid a pregnancy. Here’s what to know about emergency contraception in Singapore.
The morning-after pill is a safe and effective way of preventing unintended pregnancies. In some countries, the morning-after pill can be obtained over the counter at a pharmacy. However, in Singapore, a doctor’s prescription is required.
Here are the answers to the top five pressing questions about the morning-after pill in Singapore.
How do I see a doctor in Singapore?
Most private clinics offer a walk-in system, but not every clinic may carry the morning-after pill, or be staffed by a team familiar with women’s health. While obtaining the morning-after pill on time is crucial, it is also as important to speak to a doctor who will be able to address and allay your concerns in a judgement-free safe space.
What should I be worried about when taking the morning-after pill?
Common side effects include nausea, mild abdominal cramps, spotting (bleeding when not on your period) and changes in the next menses date (either slightly earlier or later).
The morning-after pill can be taken up to 3 to 5 days after sexual intercourse (depending on the type of pill) but the earlier it is taken, the more effective it is. It does not protect against future occurrences of unprotected intercourse and should not be used as a regular form of contraception. While it is extremely effective, it is not completely foolproof and if you find that your period is significantly delayed, you should do a blood or urine test to check for pregnancy.
Which are the available morning-after pills in Singapore and how do I take them?
Postinor | Ella
Timing | Effective up to 72 hours from time of intercourse | Effective up to 5 days after the time of intercourse
Dosage | 2 tablets taken 12 hours apart | 1 tablet taken immediately
What should I do if I am already on the combined oral contraceptive pill but missed my dose?
You should speak to your doctor if you are taking the combined oral contraceptive pill (e.g. Diane-35, Yasmin, YAZ, Microgynon etc) but have missed a dose, or some doses. If there is a need for you to take emergency contraception, you may have to hold off restarting your regular pill for up to 5 days to prevent interactions between the different medications. Your doctor will advise you accordingly.
Alternative barrier contraception (condoms) should be used during this period and for 7 days after restarting your combined pill.
What other options do I have for long-term contraception? How do I prevent this from happening again?
There are many options available, from the mini pill, to the combined pill, to an IUCD (intra-uterine coil device) and even a hormonal implant (Implanon).
Lastly, take care of your health needs so that you can focus on enjoying yourself as you travel. Stay safe!
Dr Grace Huang is the resident doctor at DTAP Clinic Robertson, a general practice clinic with a special interest in men and women’s health, and sexual health. DTAP clinic @ Robertson is an Anonymous HIV test site approved by Ministry of Health Singapore and supported by Health Promotion Board, to encourage both local and foreigners at risk of HIV to come forth for HIV testing without the need to provide their details, NRIC or passport, addresses and contact numbers.