The morning after pill is a type of contraception used as a form of emergency contraception. For women whose birth control method has failed or who have engaged in unprotected sex, emergency contraceptive pill is used to prevent unwanted and unplanned pregnancies.
The morning pill shouldn’t be used as your primary method of birth control pills; it’s only meant to be a fallback in emergency cases. Levonorgestrel or ulipristal acetate is the active ingredient in morning-after tablets.
Another reason for morning after pill to be an emergency option is that a prescription is needed to obtain Ulipristal acetate, whereas levonorgestrel can be bought as an over-the-counter medicine.
This article explains everything you need to know about the morning after birth control pills, including when to take and when not to, their efficacy as well as the morning after pill side effects.
Morning-After Pill: What Is It?
It is possible to use the morning after pill as an emergency contraceptive pill. (birth control). The pill contraception used in an emergency is different in composition and method of use from routine birth control methods such as the daily use of birth control pills. When birth control has either failed or you were unable to use protection, it is used. Use of emergency contraception may be appropriate in the following circumstances:
- Having sex without using reproductive control of any kind.
- Having problems with fertility control (a broken condom, forgotten birth control pills, or missed dose of the birth control shot).
- Encountering non-consensual sexual activity (sexual assault).
The morning after pill is sold under numerous different brand names. Levonorgestrel is the only progestin in the morning after tablet. This medicine is sold without a prescription. Ulipristal, another form of morning pill, is only accessible with a prescription.
Different Types Of Morning After Pill
There are three major varieties of morning after pills, all of which have well-known brand names that you may be familiar with.
Progesterone-Only Medication (Plan B One-Step®)
One tablet emergency contraceptive pill is referred to as Plan B. Plan B should be taken as soon as feasible after unprotected sex for the best outcomes, usually within the first three days. The medication’s efficacy declines if taken more than five days after unprotected intercourse.
This kind of morning pill also prevents fertilization in order to function. When properly taken (during the window of time when it is most effective), ulipristal may be more effective than other morning-after pill choices. Ulipristal can be taken for up to five days following unprotected intercourse. Ella® is the most widely used trade name for this medication. Ulipristal must be prescribed by your doctor.
Taking birth control pills with progestin and estrogen is a method of the pill contraception in an emergency. This choice, unlike a progestin-only drug like Plan B, is typically taken twice daily. It’s essential to discuss the precise dosage (amount of the medication) you’ll need and how long apart you should take the two medications with your doctor or pharmacist. You take a normal birth control pill at a higher dosage when you use combination birth control as an emergency contraceptive method. You shouldn’t do this without first consulting your healthcare practitioner because the dosage requirements for various birth control brands can vary.
Combined Contraception (Yuzpe regimen)
The additional pills from a normal birth control pack are taken as the pill contraception in an emergency. The Yuzpe routine is the name given to it. By combining pills from different birth control packs, you can get 100mcg of ethinyl estradiol and 0.5mg of levonorgestrel using this technique. The next dosage is given again after 12 hours.
It’s crucial to understand that this routine is less efficient and well-tolerated than other emergency contraceptive methods. Even though nausea and vomiting are the most frequent side effects, some individuals who take additional birth control pills may experience more severe side effects. Your chance of blood clots rises as a result. It should only be taken into consideration in circumstances where other emergency contraception is not easily accessible.
How Morning After Pill Works
Pregnancy cannot be undone by taking the morning after pill. Instead, it’s a form of conception prevention that is used in an emergency. The morning pill primarily functions by stopping ovulation. A typical phase of your reproductive cycle includes ovulation. Your ovaries release an egg during this period, which can then be fertilized by sperm to start the fetal development process. You cannot become pregnant without the process of ovulation.
Is The Morning After Pill Effective
It’s crucial to consider the time when evaluating the morning after pill’s capacity to avoid pregnancy. The efficacy of the medication depends on this. The sooner you start taking the emergency contraceptive pill, the more effective it becomes in all varieties. Despite the name “morning after pill,” you don’t need to wait until the next day to take these medicines.
Each kind of morning after pill has a specific window of time when it should be taken. After unprotected sexual contact, the progestin-only choice should be used within 72 hours (three days). You can use the combined and ulipristal choices up to 120 hours (five days) after having sex.
The medicine becomes less effective every day you delay taking it outside of these advised windows of time.
When To Take Morning After Pill
The morning after tablet can be taken at any time, not just the next morning. When used as soon as feasible after unprotected sexual activity, emergency contraceptive pill is most effective at preventing pregnancy. Depending on the medication, you may have a varying amount of time.
- Tablets that are only progestin (Plan B One-Step®): You usually have a three-day window where Plan B will still work for these medications. The longer you wait, the less successful it is at preventing pregnancy. A progestin-only medication may be moderately successful if taken within five days of unprotected sex.
- Ulipristal (Ella®): This kind of the pill contraception has better long-term effectiveness. This drug is still capable of preventing pregnancy for up to five days following unprotected sex.
- Birth control pills that combine progestin and estrogen: can be used as emergency contraception for up to five days following sexual activity. Since there can be a lot of variation among birth control pill brands, it’s a good idea to discuss the precise timing and dose with your doctor.
Taking Morning After Pill: What To Expect After
To use the morning-after pill:
Follow the directions on the morning-after tablet. Take one Plan B One-Step pill, if you use it, as soon as you can and within 72 hours of having unprotected intercourse. Take one Ella pill as quickly as you can, but no later than 120 hours after having unprotected sex if you use Ella.
Ask your doctor if you should take another dose of the morning pill if you vomit within two hours of ingesting it.
Don’t engage in sexual activity before beginning a new birth control technique. The morning-after pill does not provide long-term pregnancy prevention. You run the chance of getting pregnant if you engage in unprotected sex in the days and weeks following taking the morning after pill. be careful to start or continue using birth control.
The morning after pill can cause a one-week delay in your menstruation. Take a pregnancy test if your menstruation doesn’t arrive three to four weeks after taking the morning after pill.
Risks Associated With Morning After Pill
While the pill contraception for emergencies is a viable option for preventing pregnancy following unprotected sex, it is not advised for regular use because it is not as effective as other forms of contraception. The morning pill also has a risk of failure even with proper use, and it provides no defense against STDs.
There are some people who should not take the morning after tablet. Avoid taking a morning-after medication if:
- You have an allergy to one or more morning-after drug ingredients
- You’re taking medications like barbiturates or St. John’s wort, which can lessen the morning-after pill’s efficacy.
- There are some signs that the morning after pill won’t work as well to avoid pregnancy in obese or overweight people as it does for women who aren’t obese.
Additionally, before using ulipristal, make sure you are not expecting. Unknown are ulipristal’s impacts on a developing infant. Its consumption is not advised if you are nursing a baby.
Morning After Pill Side Effects
Typically, there are no known long-term birth control pills side effects.
The morning-after pill typically has no harmful side effects on most individuals. However, there may be some short term side effects of emergency contraceptive pills.
The following are some commonly observed signs and side effects of the pill:
- Modifications to your regular menstrual periods (your period might be earlier or later than normal).
- Light bleeding (Spotting)
- Puking and nauseousness
- Fatigue (Tiredness)
- Disorientation and headaches.
- Breasts or abdominal pain
For the majority of individuals, the birth control pills side effects are minimal. But after taking the morning pill, speak with your doctor if you experience more serious symptoms or have any questions.
Bleeding After Taking Morning After Pill
After taking the morning-after pill, you might encounter light bleeding, also known as spotting. Although not everyone who uses the morning-after pill experiences this, you shouldn’t be concerned about it. Contact your healthcare provider if you observe that the bleeding is heavier or begins after you’ve missed a period. After a missed menstruation, spotting might be implantation bleeding. When the embryo first implants itself in your uterus lining during the early stages of fetal growth, there is some light bleeding. (endometrium).
Should One See A Doctor After Taking Morning After Pill
You won’t typically need to visit your doctor after taking the morning after pill. However, it’s usually a good idea to speak with your healthcare provider if your period hasn’t arrived a week after you anticipate it or if you experience unusual bleeding. One of the earliest indications of pregnancy is a delayed period.
It’s also crucial to keep in mind that taking the morning after pill won’t prevent you from STIs. (STIs). Contact your physician if you have any worries that you may have been exposed to an STI.
However, get in touch with him or her if you experience significant lower abdominal pain three to five weeks after taking the morning-after pill, bleeding, or spotting that lasts longer than a week. These could signify a loss or the fertilized egg implanting outside of the uterus, typically in a fallopian tube. (ectopic pregnancy).
Frequently Asked Questions
- How do pills for the morning after work?
Ovulation or fertilization may be delayed or disrupted by morning-after medications. That prevents conception from occurring. Either progestin, a synthetic version of the hormone progesterone, or anti-progestin substances are present in the tablets.
- If I take the morning after pill first and then engage in unprotected intercourse, will it still be effective?
For the purpose of preventing pregnancy, the morning-after pill is intended to be administered soon after unprotected sex. It’s not intended to be used as routine pregnancy control. Find a method of birth control that suits your lifestyle by discussing your choices with your healthcare provider.
- Do morning-after pills have any substitutes?
Yes. Emergency contraception that uses a copper intrauterine device (IUD) is the most effective. Day five and day one both produce the same results. But getting it in time can be challenging because a healthcare professional must implant it.
- Can my weight affect how well the morning-after medication works?
According to some research, your weight may have an influence on how effective the morning-after pill is for you. The morning after pill may not be as effective for those with a greater body mass index (BMI) than for those with a lower BMI. An intrauterine device is a kind of emergency contraception that is very efficient at any weight. (IUD).
- What are side effects of emergency contraceptive pills?
Similar to those of oral contraceptives, such as nausea, vomiting, mild irregular vaginal bleeding, and tiredness, side effects of emergency contraceptive pills can occur when used. The rare, mild side effects of the pill usually go away on their own without the need for additional medicines.
A type of emergency contraceptive pill (birth control) called the morning-after pill is designed to aid in preventing conception. A pregnancy that has already begun does not terminate when taking this medication. It’s crucial to keep in mind that the earlier you take the medication, the more successful it will be if you take a morning after pill. The morning after pill works best at preventing pregnancy three to five days after unprotected intercourse, on average. Consult your healthcare provider if you have any concerns about emergency contraception.