morning-after pill

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Syn: emergency contraception. A medication that can be taken soon after an act of unprotected sexual intercourse in order to prevent pregnancy from occurring. A traditional, but often ineffectual, method was the use of a uterine stimulant that, if taken or inserted in the form of vaginal pessaries, could induce termination of a very early pregnancy. Medically acceptable methods rely on high-dose hormone preparations, either an estrogen-progestin combination or progestin alone. See also mifepristone.

Subjects: Public Health and Epidemiology.

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