THE MORNING AFTER PILL: FACTS AND FICTION

UPDATED JANUARY 2018Morning after pill

“The morning after pill is dangerous”. “You can’t take it more than once or twice in your lifetime”. “If you take it you won’t be able to become pregnant in the future”…

You may have heard all these rumours about the morning after pill and, in case “an accident” happens, you will think twice whether to take it or not… The truth is, the morning after pill has been around for more that 40 years now, but still many misconceptions and controversies persist.

In this article we will try to sort fact from fiction regarding the morning after pill in order to help you make your educated decision…

What is the morning after pill?

Emergency contraception by doctor emergency-contraception_171x200_M9201502The morning after pill, or post-coital pill is a form of emergency contraception that will prevent you from becoming pregnant after an unprotected intercourse, or if a condom breaks during intercourse.

In most countries, there are two types of emergency contraception pills (ECP):

-one containing levonorgestrel (LNG: Norlevo, Levonelle, Plan B, in different countries)

-another containing ulipristal acetate (ella in the USA, EllaOne in Europe).

In many countries such as the UK, France, USA, you may be able to get it (just LNG or both of them) without a prescription.

-When these ECPs are not available, certain ordinary birth control pills can be used as emergency contraception. The regimen is one dose of 4 to 6 pills -depending on the brand- followed by a second dose 12 hours later (the Yuzpe regimen, read more here). If you choose this method, though, it may be a good idea to talk to a health care provider for guidance.

Mifepristone is another highly effective emergency contraception method, available in few countries. However, this medication is also used to induce medical abortion, which may limit its widespread acceptability for use as ECP.

How does it work? Does it cause abortion?

The morning after pill prevents pregnancy by temporarily blocking the egg from being released (that is, inhibits ovulation). In addition, it may stop fertilization. Some people are concerned that the ECP may prevent a fertilised egg from becoming implanted in the uterus, which may be considered as an early abortion. Recent studies have shown that this medication is not effective when ovulation has already occurred, thus it does not seem to prevent implantation. Furthermore, in case an implantation has already occurred before you took it, the morning after pill will not provoke an abortion.

Do I have to take it right away?

Actually “morning after” is a bit of a misnomer: you can take ECP up to five days following unprotected sex. 

Until recently, it was accepted that pills containing LNG (Norlevo, Levonelle, Plan B) should be taken within 72 hours (three days) after the “accident”. However, recent evidence shows that LNG pills continue to be moderately effective if started between 72 and 120 hours; therefore LNG ECP can be taken up to five days after unprotected intercourse.The same is true for EllaOne/ella: it can be safely used up to five days after non-protected sex.

But the sooner you take it, the more effective it is (see below).

Is it effective?

Emergency contraception uhoh_poster_collageNeither type of morning-after pill is 100 per cent effective, but the failure rate is quite low. Like we said, you should take it as soon as possible after unprotected sex, no matter which pill you use. If you take LNG pills within the first 24 hours after sex, they reduce your risk of pregnancy by up to 95%; the efficacy will be reduced the more you delay the ingestion of the pill, roughly to 85% the 2nd day, 60% the third day.

Recent studies have confirmed that EllaOne/ella is more effective than the LNG pill, not only when taken 3-5 days after an unprotected intercourse, but also within the first three days.

Will I get severe side effects?

Emergency contraception pills are very safe: no deaths or serious complications have been ever linked to their use. Moreover, emergency contraception pills do not harm future fertility.

In general, side effects are uncommon and generally mild: the most common are nausea, vomits and menstrual abnormalities (your period may come earlier, later, with more or less blood than usual); more rare side effects are fatigue, breast tenderness, headache and abdominal pain.

There is some controversy as to whether the morning after pill is associated with an increased risk of ectopic pregnancy (a pregnancy outside the uterus, usually inside the fallopian tube). Available evidence suggests that ECP do not increase the chance of ectopic pregnancy; moreover, like all contraceptive methods, they reduce the absolute risk of ectopic pregnancy by preventing pregnancy in general.

Is there any limit to the number of times I can take it?

Emergency contraception womant taking 47929

It has been suggested (mostly by internet rumours) that it could be dangerous to take the ECP more than one or twice in your life. The following is an excerpt from the World Health Organization’s (WHO) site which throws light on this subject:

“There are no restrictions for the medical eligibility of who can use ECPs. Some women, however, use ECPs repeatedly (…) as their main method of contraception. In such situations, further counselling needs to be given on what other and more regular contraceptive options may be more appropriate and more effective. Frequent and repeated ECP use may be harmful for women with conditions classified as medical eligibility criteria (MEC) category 2, 3,or 4 for combined hormonal contraception or Progestin-only contraceptives (POC). Frequent use of emergency contraception can result in increased side-effects, such as menstrual irregularities, although their repeated use poses no known health risks”.

In other words, you shouldn’t take the ECP very often because: 1) you’d rather take the regular contraceptive pills and you will be better protected from unwanted pregnancy; 2) you may get some abnormal periods, BUT IN MOST WOMEN, ECP ARE NOT DANGEROUS! 3) in case you have a severe health problems such as history of stroke, blood clots, certain cancers, etc, then you should avoid frequent and repeat use.

In fact, the Royal College of Obstetricians, says that the LNG pill can be used even more than once in the same cycle. However, it does not recommend taking EllaOne in this way because, being a newer medication, we have not enough evidence for repeated use in the same cycle (although recent evidence indicates that it can be safely used more than once per cycle).

If you find yourself using the morning after pill very often, it might mean that you haven’t yet found a regular method of birth control that works for you. In that case, talk to your doctor about some of your other options.

If ECP fails and I get pregnant, will it affect my unborn baby?

LNG has been used for many years, and evidence shows that there is no increased risk of birth defects or other effects on the baby; new data supports that Ellaone/ella is as safe as LNG and no birth defects have been reported so far.

Can I take ECP if I breastfeed?

You may safely take the LNG pill if you are breastfeeding. Although EllaOne was not recommended during lactation until recently, updated guidelines state that ellaOne is not contraindicated for breastfeeding women, but that breastmilk should not be given to a baby for 24 hours (in the USA guidelines) or one week (in Europe) after a woman has taken the product.

Some final warnings…

  • Emergency contraception keep-calm-and-take-the-morning-after-pill-7The ECP will protect you from an unwanted pregnancy, but it will not provide any protection from sexually transmitted diseases. It is very important that you are aware of safe sexual practices and  incorporate them into your relationships.
  • There is some evidence that the LNG pill might be less effective in women weighting 75kg or more, while the efficacy of EllaOne does not seem to be affected by body weight. Thus, if you are over 75 kg you may prefer to take EllaOne.
  • The efficacy of the ECP will be decreased if you vomit after taking it. If you vomit within 2 hours of taking LNG pill, or 3 hours of taking EllaOne, you will need to take it again.
  • Contraindications: according to the WHO: “There are no medical contraindications to the use of levonorgestrel emergency contraception pills”. Some experts advise against its use in women with severe liver disease.
  • Interaction with other medications: some medications may eventually reduce the effectiveness of the ECP: Saint John’s wort, barbiturates, rifampicin, among others.
  • When to see your doctor: although the ECP may delay your period, contact you doctor if your period doesn’t come some days after the expected time. Likewise, it’s very important that you see your doctor right away if you have irregular bleeding and abdominal pain, to rule out the possibility of an ectopic pregnancy.

The bottom line:

Emergency contraception plan B 1258645.largeThe emergency contraception pill is a safe and effective method of contraception. Most of the rumours you may have heard  about it, are unfounded.

Having said that, it should not be abused.

The (very clever) brand name of the ECP in the USA, Plan B, indicates clearly how this medication should be used: as an option when your plan A (your regular contraception) failed…or wasn’t there.

Related reading:

Contraception: 14 common myths – busted

Fact or myth? Truths, half-truths and misconceptions about the Birth Control Pill

References:

World Health Organization: Emergency Contraception. Fact sheet N°244  June 2017

Trussell J, Raymond E, Cleland K; Emergency Contraception: A Last Chance to Prevent Unintended Pregnancy. November 2017

173 thoughts on “THE MORNING AFTER PILL: FACTS AND FICTION

  1. these pills are handy to have for “mistakes” but should be used responsibly (perhaps after seeing a doctor for advice) not be used as a method of birth control. Worries me that they are available over the counter.

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  2. I agree with you that the morning after pill should not be used as a regular contraceptive method. But when used properly, it is safe. I think it’s a good idea, like you say, to have a discussion with your doctor to be sure that there is no contraindication for its use, just to be prepared when the “mistake” happens. The problem is that, is the pill is not easily available, then many more unwanted pregnancies will occur, which are more burdensome, in many aspects, than the morning after pill.

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  3. hi guys, i need your help. i had my period on feb 2-5. we had sex with my bf. afraid of getting pregnant i took emergency pills. took 4 pills and after 12 hours another 4 pills. had my widthrawal bleeding on feb 14-16. when should i expect my next period? thank you.

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    • Hi I’m possible,
      Most of the times the morning after pill does not affect your cycle, but since you had some widthrawal bleeding, we can’t tell when your next period is gonna come. If by next week you don’t have your period, maybe it would be a good idea to do a pregnancy test, just in case…

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Nice Post! I agree with you that the morning after pill should be used as an emergency contraceptive method not a regular method. But when used properly, it is safe. The Morning after pill prepared Doctors because the sooner you take an emergency contraceptive, the more effective it is at preventing pregnancy.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I had sex with my bf and took the morning after pill the first sunday of this month and worried my pms have delayed is it normal for them to delay?

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  6. Hi please help,I had unprocted sex last month and used emergency contraceptive pill twice in a month and my period didnt come,I want to know ther’s a possibility of being pregnant. then if not how long will it take for my period to come back

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    • It is possible to have a menstrual delay after taking the emergency contraception pill, especially in your case that you took it twice in the same month. The ECP is very effective, but not 100%, therefore if you don’t get your period when you expect it, you’d better do a pregnancy test.

      Like

  7. I have had unprotected sex with someone two weekends in a row but took the morning after pill….what is my chances of getting pregnant now?

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    • Hi Alta, the sooner you take the morning after pill, the more effective it is, so it’s important how far after your unprotected intercourse you took it. But if you had two unprotected intercourses 1 week apart, you should have taken it again… So your chances of getting pregnant will depend on how you took it…
      Keep in mind that if you find yourself having too often unprotected intercourse, you risk not only to get pregnant, but also to get a sexually transmitted infection.
      It would be a good idea that you consider a regular contraceptive method, as you will be far better protected…

      Like

      • i had a medical abortion round 4 weeks ago went back to doc 2 weeks after first attempt but still pregnant have another lot inserted in virginal then 2 weeks after seems still pregnant waiting on blood test though bleed whole time i’ve had had 5 kids and are very fertile should i go see a different doctor

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      • Hi Jodie, if you are still bleeding you should wait for the blood test result, but you should probably have also an ultrasound. Of course, this is as a general rule, as I don’t know anything about your medical history, how far you were pregnant, etc…

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  8. Hi I’m really confused i had unprotected sex with my boyfriend very irresponsible I no anyway we did it on Thursday evening bout 930 pm then again early hours in the morning like 3am then Friday morning about 10am I ovulated on the Thursday I no as I get the pain and tenderness in my side and had all the fertile discharge, so I took the morning after pill Friday night just after midnight which works out 26hours after my first incident but I’m reading all sorts about the morning after pill so my question is will it work

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    • Hi Cherry, the morning after pill is about 95% effective when you take it within the first 24 hours, 85% when you take 24-48 hours after the unprotected intercourse. This means that the morning after pill is very effective, but not 100%.
      So keep this in mind to consider a more regular contraceptive method, that will protect you more adequately…

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      • Hi thank you for your comment so my chances of becoming pregnant are very slim then? I already have 5 children so I no I’m quite a fertile person , so if the egg was fertilised will the levelle stop it from implanting Because this is the part that confuses me, :/ x

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      • Hi today iv had some bleeding which is 5 days after taking the map and exactly one week before my period was due, does this mean I’m definitely not pregnant and the map has worked and do I class this as my period ? Many thanks

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  9. Hi, so umm my boyfriend kind of came on/near my vagina ( not in it, we were just humping) but I still freaked out as ive read that there are still chances of pregnancy and also because my period was near. So I took 2 ecp pills after exactly an hour, and 2 more after 24 hours. Its been almost 7 days since this happened. After the first 2 days i started getting cramps (similar to my period cramps) and now the white and sometimes brown discharge. The cramps have stopped but the discharge hasnt. And i still havent gotten my period. Please can anybody just explain whats happening? Im really scared

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  10. Hi I has sex with The pulling out method, I took the morning after pill and after an hour I had sex again without protection and he pull out. Can I take another pill?

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      • Hi I took morning after pill on Saturday and then on Tuesday I had an unprotected sex,will I be pregnant

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      • Hi Nosipho, the morning after pill protects you against pregnancy when you take it AFTER sex. It is not clear for how long the MAP will keep working, so if you had sex again 3 days after taking it, you should have probably taken it again. Your chances of getting pregnant will depend on the cycle day you had unprotected intercourse. In any case, keep in mind that the MAP should be used only as emergency method, not as regular contraception.

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  11. I had sex on 15th night through the morning of 16th then I took two tablets of emergency contraception at once an hour later & did not repeat can I get pregnant? Pls reply me am so worried

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  12. Pls help my last period was 4th April ended on 8th had sex on 8,9,10,11, 15,16,then I took emergency contraception 2 tablets at once the morng of 16th could I be pregnant coz ihavent seen my period yet

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  13. is it nessacary for me to take another emergency pill…. cause i took another one four days ago….and yesturday i had unprotected sex…….could it be that the pill is still in action or another one is required?

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    • Hi Namy, the morning after pill protects you against pregnancy when you take it AFTER sex. It is not clear for how long the MAP will keep working, so if you had sex again 4 days after taking it, you should take it again…
      In any case, if your “accidents” are very frequent, you should consider a more definitive contraceptive method, so you will be better protected.

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  14. I had sex yesterday morning upto midday then took the emergency pill immediately. Then had unprotected sex again within 2hours, would i ave taken another pill or i was still safe with the first pill. Pliz help thanx.

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  15. Hi i took postinor last month on 18th and bled after 3days,tried to concieve this june bt failed coz i got my periods on 26ths bt the flow was very very light,is postinor stil in my system that its affecting my fertility?

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  16. I just finished my postinor withdrawal bleeding like yesterday. I don’t see any bleeding anymore. And around 1025pm last night, i had a huge quarrel with my boyfriend because he ejaculated into me again. Will i get pregnant? Do i have to take postinor again?! 😦

    Please help.

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  17. Hi , my boyfriend and I had unprotected sex yesterday afternoon and so I took the MAP the next day. We had unprotected sex an hour after I took so I wanted to know if the MAP will still be effective. Please reply asap

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    • Hi Lilah, you should be protected if intercourse was 1 hour after the MAP. But please remember that emergency contraception should only be used as an emergency; a more regular contraceptive method will protect you more adequately.

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  18. hi can someone please help me…my girl nd i had unprotected sex last week saterday night at abt 12 at night and the condome i used broke and dont know what time but the i went to buy the to buy the morning after pil teusday morning and gave her do ul think the pill will work pls anyone i need your help

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  19. hy….i used morning after in 23 hrs after having unprotected sex last mnth….now it time for my circle bt there is only pain ….does that mean i’m safe or what?plz help i’m scared of being pregnant

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  20. Hi, i took postinor2 twice within one cycle, my period came 2days earlier but it was unusually very very very light (less than 1% of its usual self) but it stayed for 3days, should i be worried? Thanks

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    • Hi Sar, It is possible that Postinor changed your cycle, especially because you took it twice. But if you are not sure, you may just do a pregnancy test.
      Keep in mind that if you need to take the MAP often, a more regular contraceptive method will be better for you…

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  21. Hey, my boyfriend and I had sex on Saturday and the condom broke I washed out all I could and took a 1.5mg morning after pill less than an hour afterwards. Should I take another one?
    I feel nauseous and stressed to the oblivion .

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    • Hi Liana, you don’t need to take another pill. You took it soon after the unprotected intercourse, when you achieve the maximum protection. The morning after pill is not 100% effective, but your changes of getting pregnant are low.
      In any case, you should know that washing out sperm is not really helpful 😉
      http://wp.me/p508D7-12p

      Like

  22. Hi
    Me and my boyfriend had unprotected sex, we went to the pharmacy the next day to get the morning after pill, we then had sex again that night (the day I took the pill ) but with a condom this time. Will the morning after pill still work?

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    • Hi Nadia, the morning after pill protects you against pregnancy when you take it AFTER sex. It is not clear for how long the MAP will keep working, but since you had protected intercourse this time you should be fine.

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  23. Hi
    Hubby and I had had sex during ovulation period I took Norlevo the next day (on a Monday) on the Wednesday I had a 1 day period with really bad cramps then Saturday I had another period which lasted five days (my periods are normally lengthy) for the last week and a half I have been having very bad period like cramps but no period and for the last two days I have been nauseous. Could this be the after effects of the morning after pill?

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  24. Hi!I had unprotected sex with my bf on 10 june and one day after i took norlevo. My last period was on 28 may but On 16 june i have bleeding for 4-5 days. They smells difreent from my period. On 25 june we made again unprotected sex and i took norlevo again that day. I had bleeding on 1 july again for 4-5 days and had the same smell as the bleeding on 16 june.
    Were them my periods or it was as the result of norlevo pill? Do i have a risk of being pregnant?

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    • Hi Kamilo, Norlevo may change your periods. Although very effective, it is not 100% effective, so there is a risk of pregnancy. Consider a pregnancy test in the doubt. Keep in mind that having too often unprotected intercourse, you risk not only to get pregnant, but also to get sexually transmitted infections…

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  25. i had sex on 1st of july took a pill in the night had sex and took the pill on 2nd july i saw my self bleeding on the 10 which i have to use pad ………. am i prgnant

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    • Hi Anabella, the bleeding you had was most likely caused by the morning after pill, it doesn’t mean that you are pregnant. The pill may also change your cycle. In any case, if you are not sure, just do a pregnancy test.

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  26. Hi. Me and my partner had sex and so I was affraid that I might have been to late when pulled out. So i bought lenove and she took both of the tablets directly after another. This was exactly 64hours after we had sex. Is the pill stil effective at this time as im quite worring about all this as my father will kill me

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    • Hi Mona, the LNG pill (Levonelle, Norlevo) can be taken up to 72 hours after the unprotected intercourse. Within the first 24 hours after sex, the pill lowers the risk of pregnancy by up to 95%; the efficacy will be reduced to about 85% the 2nd day, 60% the third day. In any case, keep in mind that the “pulling out” is not an effective contraception method…
      http://wp.me/p508D7-12p

      Like

  27. hi i had a baby 9 weeks ago. Started takinn regular birth control pills 3 weeks after having the baby but i was missing some so my period started just after 2 weeks on the pill and in the 6th week after giving birth i had sex 6 hours later my period started again and i took the map what are my chances of being pregnant its been 3 weeks now

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  28. I had sex with my husband and I have a 5 month old baby so I’m not ready to be pregnant. I took emergency pill first thing in the morning. the thing is my husband didn’t ejaculate inside I just took the pill for precaution. is it possible that I might be pregnant again

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    • Hi Kaycee, there is actually some risk to become pregnant with un unprotected intercourse, even if your husband did not ejaculate inside. That’s because pre-ejaculation fluid (or pre-come) may be released before the man actually ejaculates.
      http://wp.me/p508D7-12p
      So you did well to take the morning after pill!

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    • Hi Grace, the morning after pill is effective when you take it within 3 days of an unprotected intercourse: within the first 24 hours it reduces your risk of pregnancy by up to 95%; the efficacy will be reduced the more you delay the ingestion of the pill, roughly to 85% the 2nd day, 60% the third day.

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  29. Results for ‘Pregnancy
    – hi. had my periods
    on the 27 -30 June
    and on the 3rd of July
    I had unprotected sex
    with? … my boyfriend
    he ejaculated inside,
    so on the 4th I took
    morning after pill
    which was 48 hours
    after sex. 7 days later
    on the 10th had a
    brown blood which
    turned heavy on the
    2nd and 3rd day, so
    today is the 12th and I
    never saw my periods.
    is this normal, and
    when should I expect
    my periods? and the
    other thing I am
    currently experiencing
    stomach cramps, back
    pain nd headaches’

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  30. I had unprotected sex Friday and emergency contraception within 12 hours later on the Saturday then unprotected sex on the Saturday/Sunday and emergency contraception on the Monday. Is it OK to begin taking the normal contraception pills on the first day of my next period, around 2 weeks following the weekend mentioned?

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    • Yes! It’s fine, and you will get better contraceptive protection… Keep in mind though that the pill does not protect you from sexually transmitted diseases, so if you are not in a stable relationship, don’t forget the condom!

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  31. I had unprotected sex on e 4th on I took lenor nd on e 8th I took lenor again whilst my period suppose to come on e 29th nd it dose not is dat any chance of me been pregnant

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    • Hi Ruth, the morning after pill can delay your menses, especially in your case that you took it twice in a month. Nevertheless, it would be a good idea to do a pregnancy test if you didn’t get your period yet, just in case. The morning after pill is very affective, but not 100%…

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    • Hi Lisa, I would need more clear information on the dates you had intercourse, when you took the pill and when you got your period… In any case, in the doubt, do a pregnancy test. If negative you can wait and see, unless the pain is very strong…

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  32. I have a ? Seeing if you can help. I took the morning after pill a week ago and woke up yesterday with heavy dark brown bleeding it seemed to slow down in the evening but then I was woken up with a wet bed full of red blood I Dont expect my period for another 16 days and I have never had this happen before with taking the morning after pill is this normal? And Now in 16 days will I be coming on?

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    • Hi Sara, the morning after pill can change your cycle, this may have been your period. But check with a doctor if the heavy bleeding continues. If this was your period, your next one may come in one month and not in 16 days…

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    • Hi Thelma, if it’s been 6 days from your unprotected intercourse, unfortunately it’s too late to take the morning after pill: the pills containing LNG (Norlevo, Levonelle, Plan B) can be taken up to three days after the unprotected intercourse, EllaOne can be taken up to five days after. In any case, keep in mind that the sooner you take it, the more effective it is.
      So in your case, you will just have to wait and see if your period is coming…

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  33. I had unprotected sex early one Monday morning. Took the pill the next day in the evening. That same night I had unprotected sex with a different partner, and took the pill again. What are the chances I’m pregnant? I’m already vomiting and it’s only been two weeks! I have a doctors app coming up…. am I just being parinoid or do you think I’m okay?

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    • Hi Michelle, If you take the pill within the first 24 hours after sex, you reduce your risk of pregnancy by up to 95%; the efficacy is reduced the more you delay the ingestion of the pill, to about 85% the 2nd day, 60% the third day. So your chances of being pregnant are low – but not zero. Since it’s been two weeks, you can take a pregnancy test to find out if you are pregnant.

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  34. hie i want to ask. i had sex on Thursday and i took the two levonorgestrel tablets bp pregnon at the same time and friday i had sex and took the two pills at the same time again. do i get to be pregnant?

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  35. Hi Kudzai, the morning after pill is 95% effective if you take it right after the unprotected intercourse, so your chances of getting pregnant are very low.
    Keep in mind though that if you find yourself taking the MAP too often, a more regular contraceptive method will provide you much better protection.

    Like

  36. Hi, I’ve been really worried sick. PLEASE RESPOND ASAP. I need help 😥
    So I had my period on the 16th of August, 2016. It ended on the 21st of August. I had unprotected sex with someone on Thursday 25 of August around 4am. I took the pill the on Saturday 27th around 5pm. Then we had sex again on Sunday morning around 4am irresponsibly. I took the pill Monday morning around 3am.

    What are the chances of me getting pregnant?
    OH and also something very odd happened.. 5 days later after taking the plan B pill, which is on FRIDAY the 2nd, I WAS BLEEDING. At first it wasnt heavy.. but it took 5 days until i stopped bleeding. im not sure if this is the sideeffects of taking the plan B. IM NOT SURE IF THAT WAS MY PERIOD OR WAS IT THE SHEDDING for implantation thing? ive read about it and they said that most women bleed after 5 days when they are pregnant.. I am really worried and scared because this wasnt suppose to happen. I am 19 and Im going to school. He was my first and he left. Please help me. IS IT BAD TO TAKE PLAN B PILL TWICE IN ONE WEEK? will it increase the chance of me getting pregnant?

    He said he pulled out, but the second time around, i dont think he did it correctly. Please.

    Like

    • Hi CDez, You took the morning after pill within the recommended time frame, so your chances of getting pregnant are low, but not zero.
      It is not unusual to have some bleeding after taking the pill, and -provided that you are not pregnant- we cannot be sure when you will get your next period. Just in case though, I would recommend you to take a pregnancy test if in a couple of days your period doesn’t show up.
      Plan B can be used even more than once in the same cycle, but you shouldn’t abuse! If you find yourself taking the morning after pill very often, discuss with a doctor about a contraceptive method that will protect you more efficiently, so you won’t be worried sick 😉

      Like

  37. I have used morning after three times and ma question is that will I gonna get kids in ma life?because I heard if you use morning after pills three times you are no more going to have kids? Is that true?

    Like

    • Hi there, according to the existing evidence, the morning after pills DO NOT harm future fertility. I have included in my post an excerpt from the World Health Organization site which states “…frequent use of emergency contraception can result in side-effects such as menstrual irregularities, although their repeated use poses no known health risks.”

      Like

      • Hi,
        My last period began on the 13th of september and around day 15 of my cycle (a tuesday)i had intense ovulation cramps. Between 3am and 9am saturday morning i had unprotected sex 3 times then took the ecp at 2pm and 2am (2 dose type). Today is the 9th october so my period is due. Could i be pregnant?

        Like

      • Hi WorriedPup, maybe my answer is a little late, sorry about that 😦
        In any case, if you didn’t get your period by the date you were expecting it, it would be a good idea to take a pregnancy test, just in case.
        The morning after pill is very effective, but not 100%!

        Like

  38. This is totally irresponsible. I am absolutely 100% a feminist, pro-choice and in favor of safe options for women in the case of unwanted insemination, no matter the circumstances. However, my own experience with Plan B and the the hundreds of stories I’ve read like mine (no doubt a mere sampling of the overall group of women who have suffered ill effects) fly in the face of everything written here.
    I wish to call out specifically the idea that Plan B-related weight gain is somehow apocryphal and not proven. My own story is this: had a condom break in May, 2014. Immediately took Plan B, despite the fact that I have a number of fertility-related issues (antiphospholipid syndrome, endometriosis, a bicornate uterus) that have always been emphasized to me as as problematic should I ever consider pregnancy.

    Nonetheless, figuring it best to be safe, I took Plan B. I did not suffer and nausea or ill effects on mood. What did happen, however, was from that point, when I weighed a steady 110 pounds – and had maintained that weight for 8-10 years, I slowly gained 29 pounds. This happened in just about 12 months. During that time, I did not change my diet, which (on account of migraines and my taking a MAOI) is extremely spartan and healthy — no dairy, no gluten, no caffeine, no soy, no sugar and no alcohol. I’ve never worried about my weight before Plan B – eating an avocado a day.
    This is not some instance of Plan B increasing my hunger. This is a metabolic, hormonal change. I went to an endocrinologist who tested a number of items, and notably, my SHBG was through the roof – higher than a pregnant woman’s values. This can cause weight gain. Once of the potential causes of high values? High estadiol = Plan B.

    There is no way to lower SHBG other than clean diet, relaxation, exercise, avoiding endocrine disrupters…things I’ve always done. The weight is NOT coming offf.

    I encourage other women to get an endodrince panel if they’ve taken Plan B abs are experiencing weight gain. It’s not surprising when you find issues with your HPA axis off, problems with SHBG, thyroid or other.

    Plan B has effects on our finely-tuned hormonal system, and it’s not surprising whatsoever when huge amounts of synthetic estrogen suddenly through our systems out of whack.

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    • Dear Amanda,
      First of all, I would like to precise that all the information contained in my article is based on medical evidence, as well as on my personal, 20-year experience as a physician, Obstetrician and Gynecologist. Therefore, my article is not “irresponsible”.
      Many studies have been conducted in order to evaluate the safety of the morning after pill. To my knowledge, no study has ever shown that the use of the morning after pill is associated with weight gain. This is different from taking the birth control pill, where you take hormones on a long run.
      Nevertheless, each person is different, for all medications there might be what we call an idiosyncratic drug reaction; it is not impossible that, in your body the medication triggered a reaction in your metabolism which led to weight gain. Keep in mind, though, that millions of women have taken the morning after pill, and so far weight gain does NOT seem to be a side effect. In any case, every medication poses a possible risk, but also a benefit. Just imagine, what if you wouldn’t have taken Plan B and you would have become pregnant? Especially you, with all your medical issues: an unwanted pregnancy would have been much more burdensome than Plan B!
      I would also like to clarify some things you say, which I believe you did not get right: we should not confuse LEVONORGESTREL-only pill (such as plan B), which is a PROGESTIN (that is, synthetic progesterone), with the old morning after pill, the so-called “Yuzpe regime”, which contained estrogen and progestin; this regime has been withdrawn many years ago because it was less effective and had more side effects than the levonorgestrel-only pill. Thus, PLAN B DOES NOT CONTAIN ESTROGEN AT ALL.
      In addition, many studies have shown that levonorgestrel (taken on a regular basis, such as birth control pills or implants) DECREASES SHBG LEVELS. So, most likely, your high levels of SHBG are unrelated to the morning after pill.
      In any case, thank you for your comment, but before calling someone “irresponsible”, it’s better to base our arguments on accurate data, so that we don’t cause panic and, irresponsibly, do more harm than good.

      Like

  39. I had sex with my fiance on Monday evening at about 17h45 during which time the condom broke, at about 09h52 the following morning I took norlevo ecp, both pills at the same time, as instructed by the pharmacist. The following morning however, my breasts were tender and I had abdominal cramping and acid reflux. Is there a way to know if the ecp worked? I was in day 3 of my ovulation cycle

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    • Hi Charlie, the symptoms you had are most likely side effects of the ECP. There is no way to know whether the ECP worked. You will just have to wait until the date you were expecting your period, when you can take a pregnancy test…

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    • Hi Doreen, It depend on which side effects you experienced. What is important to know though, is that all the side effects are short-lasting; the morning after pill does NOT seem to provoke long-term side effects, such as permanent cycles abnormalities, weight gain, etc.

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  40. Hi
    I had sex on the 8 nov the the following morning on the 9 nov I drank MAP then five days later on the 15 nov I had unprotected sex again and drank MAP the following day 16 nov, so its like I used MAP twice in on cycle and within seven days. anyways just 4days after on the 20 nov I saw brown things that I wipe after pee I thought that is the sign of bmy periods since well this is my period week. the next morning I was clear no sign of periods.

    does this means am Pregnant? ???
    Should I be worry?

    Like

    • Hi Lalu, an abnormal period after the morning after pill is a common event, especially for you that you took it twice in a month. However, to be on the safe side, it would be a good idea to take a pregnancy test.
      Keep in mind that if you need to take the morning after pill very often, a more regular contraceptive method will protect you much more efficiently.

      Like

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