As the big V Day approaches, couples will no doubt be making preparations: restaurant reservations, bikini waxing, selecting flowers.
Thinking about safe sex at the end of the night isn’t the most romantic plan, and it’s common for it to get crossed off the list, studies show.
But women’s health experts have taken to social media to warn some women to be extra careful if they want to avoid pregnancy – because, for as many as 26 million American women, the most common form of emergency contraception popular does not work.
In a video posted to her Instagram page, where she has 247,000 followers, Dr. Charis Chambers, a Georgia-based obstetrician-gynecologist, reported that levonorgesterel (also known as Plan B) is much less effective for heavier women.
The drug, taken within 72 hours of unprotected sex, has been shown to have “reduced effectiveness based on weight and BMI,” she says.
“Research shows that overweight people, that is, those with a BMI between 25 and 29.9, were twice as likely to experience failure.
“Obese people with a BMI of 30 or more were four times more likely to fail.”
Dr. Chambers added that the effectiveness of the drugs, or their effectiveness, “peaks out” at 70 kg, or 154 pounds.
And “no effectiveness” was seen in those who weigh more than 80 kg or 176 pounds – meaning the pill doesn’t work.
Although levonorgestrel has been shown to be ineffective in obese women, doctors recommend taking a different type of medication if you need emergency contraception.
Dr Chambers’ warning follows previous research by a French manufacturer of the drug, which showed levonorgestrel was “ineffective” when taken by women weighing more than 80kg.
Basically, American women of average height and weight 80 kg (176 lb) will be classified as obese, according to the CDC’s BMI calculator.
According to recent estimates, about 35 to 40 percent of the 65 million American women of reproductive age are obese.
Dr. Chambers says women with a BMI of 30 or more, or who weigh more than 176 pounds, should consider other options.
This includes the copper IUD or another type of morning-after pill called ulipristal acetate (also known as Ella).
Studies have shown that obesity can impact the effectiveness of Ella, but to a much lesser extent than that of Plan B.
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