The Costa Rican Social Security Fund (CCSS) will give emergency contraception, known as “morning after pill“, to every woman who requests it.This was announced by the entity this past Wednesday, May 5th, where it is explained that the possibility of including this contraceptive in the offer of services “is part of the efforts to strengthen the right to sexual and reproductive health“, the characteristics of the delivery are established in the guideline that was published on April 16th.
The use of this pill is recommended within five days after sexual intercourse, but it is clarified that “the sooner it is used, the greater its effectiveness.” Before this announcement made by the Fund, this contraceptive could only be requested by women who were victims of sexual assault.
“It is important to clarify to the population that these drugs are not abortifacient. As part of education, it is necessary to say that they prevent conception, but they do not spoil a conception that has already been carried out”, said gynecologist Angélica Vargas Campos, who explained that “emergency contraception prevents pregnancy in the same way as regular contraceptive: it prevents or delays the release of an egg from a woman’s ovaries or prevents sperm from fertilizing the egg.”
Free of charge
From now on, the use of this pill can be given free of charge to women who require it and its use is recommended for any woman of childbearing age and reiteratedthat it should be taken as soon as possible “within a maximum period of 120 hours”.
“The objective of opening access to this contraceptive resource is to offer various possibilities to adjust the situation, characteristics and needs of each person and to positively impact the sexual health of the population”; reported the Social Security.
The guideline issued by the CCSS comes to update the country in terms of recommendations issued by the World Health Organization where it has been indicated that all “women at risk of unwanted pregnancy have the right to emergency contraception and therefore the methods must be integrated into all national family planning programs.”
Among the cases mentioned by CCSS for possible uses of emergency contraception are:
- When a contraceptive method was not used.
- When the contraceptive was used incorrectly: for example, interruption or consecutive forgetting of three or more pills and delay of more than two weeks in the injection of the injectable.
- When the method was used correctly, but its failure was observed: for example, when a condom breaks or a diaphragm falls out of place.
- When a woman without effective contraceptive protection is attacked and rape occurs.
Reduce unwanted pregnancies
With the introduction of this pill it is hoped to decrease the rate of unwanted pregnancies.”According to the National Survey on Sexual and Reproductive Health (Ministry of Health, 2015), it indicates that among the people interviewed, 49.8% of women and 32.2% of men did not want their last pregnancy.
“In some cases because they wanted to wait for another time (13.7% of women and 10.7% of men) and in others because they did not want to have more children at all (36.1% of women and 21.5% of % of men) “, reported the CCSS.
Among the side effects that the drug could cause are symptoms (rare) similar to those caused by oral contraceptives, these are: nausea and vomiting, slight irregular vaginal bleeding, and fatigue. It is also added that the consumption of this pill does not cause any damage to fertility.