Morning-after pill – Mayo Clinic

Video Morning after pill what is it

summary

The morning after pill is a type of emergency contraception (contraception). Emergency contraception is used to prevent pregnancy in women who have had unprotected intercourse or whose contraceptive method has failed.

The morning after pill is intended only as a backup method of contraception, not as a primary method of contraception. morning-after pills contain levonorgestrel (one-step plan b) or ulipristal acetate (ella).

Levonorgestrel is available without a prescription; ulipristal acetate is available by prescription only.

why is it done

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morning after pills can help prevent pregnancy if you’ve had unprotected sex, either because you didn’t use birth control, missed a birth control pill, were sexually assaulted, or your birth control failed.

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morning after pills do not interrupt a pregnancy that has been implanted. they work primarily by delaying or preventing ovulation.

Please note that the morning after pill is not the same as mifepristone (mifeprex), also known as ru-486 or the abortion pill. This medication ends an established pregnancy, in which the fertilized egg has attached itself to the uterine wall and has begun to develop.

risks

Emergency contraception is an effective option for preventing pregnancy after unprotected sex, but it is not as effective as other contraceptive methods and its routine use is not recommended. In addition, the morning after pill can fail even with correct use and does not offer protection against sexually transmitted infections.

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The morning after pill is not suitable for everyone. do not take the morning after pill if:

  • you are allergic to any component of the morning after pill
  • you are taking certain medications that may decrease the effectiveness of the morning after pill, such as barbiturates or st. john’s wort
  • If you are overweight or obese, there are indications that the morning after pill will not be as effective in preventing pregnancy as it is for women who are not overweight.

    Also, make sure you are not pregnant before using ulipristal. The effects of ulipristal in a developing baby are unknown. if you are breastfeeding, ulipristal is not recommended.

    Side effects of the morning after pill, which typically last only a few days, may include:

    • nausea or vomiting
    • dizziness
    • fatigue
    • headache
    • breast tenderness
    • Bleeding between periods or heavier menstrual bleeding
    • pain or cramps in the lower abdomen
    • how do you prepare

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      For maximum effectiveness, emergency contraception should be started as soon as possible after unprotected intercourse and within 120 hours. You can take emergency contraceptive pills at any time during your menstrual cycle.

      what you can expect

      to use the morning after pill:

      • follow the instructions for the morning after pill. if you use plan b one step, take a plan b one step pill as soon as possible and less than 72 hours after unprotected sex. if you use ella, take an ella pill as soon as possible and less than 120 hours after unprotected sex.
      • If you vomit within two hours of taking the morning after pill, ask your healthcare provider if you should take another dose.
      • Don’t have sex until you start using another form of birth control. the morning-after pill does not offer long-lasting protection against pregnancy. If you have unprotected sex in the days and weeks after taking the morning after pill, you are at risk of getting pregnant. be sure to start or resume birth control.
      • Using the morning after pill can delay your period by up to a week. If you don’t get your period within three to four weeks of taking the morning after pill, take a pregnancy test.

        Normally, you do not need to contact your healthcare provider after using the morning after pill. however, if you have bleeding or spotting that lasts more than a week or if you develop severe lower abdominal pain three to five weeks after taking the morning-after pill, contact him or her. these may indicate a miscarriage or that the fertilized egg has implanted outside the uterus, usually in a fallopian tube (ectopic pregnancy).

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