“Emergency contraceptives” are not as effective as regular birth control methods and should not be used as such. According to one study, “the morning-after pill” is only expected to prevent 84% of pregnancies when used properly. It does not protect against STIs and HIV/AIDS.
“The morning-after pill” isn’t appropriate for everyone. There are several factors that need to be taken into account. Talk to your healthcare provider before taking emergency contraceptives to learn more about the risk factors. You can also contact a Pregnancy Center listed on this site to discuss your situation.
Depending on where you are in your menstrual cycle and assuming you are at a point in your cycle that you are capable of becoming pregnant, “the morning-after pill” can work in one of 3 ways:
This information is from the Mayo Clinic website.
The morning-after pill isn’t appropriate for everyone. Your health care provider may discourage use of the morning-after pill if:
Morning after pill side effects may include:
Morning after pill side effects typically last only a few days.
Using the morning-after pill may delay your period by up to one week. If your period is more than one week late, take a pregnancy test. If you have bleeding or spotting that lasts longer than a week or develop severe lower abdominal pain three to five weeks after taking the morning-after pill, contact your health care provider. These may be signs or symptoms of a miscarriage or an ectopic pregnancy — when the fertilized egg implants outside the uterus, usually in a fallopian tube.
An estimated 1 to 2 out of 100 women who have unprotected sex one time and correctly use the morning-after pill will get pregnant. The morning-after pill doesn’t offer protection from sexually transmitted infections.
Birth Control Guide. FDA Office of Women’s Health. http://www.fda.gov/downloads/ForConsumers/ByAudience/ForWomen/FreePublications/UCM207070.pdf
Morning-after pill: Definition. Mayo Clinic. http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/morning-after-pill/MY01190
Morning-after pill: Risks. Mayo Clinic. http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/morning-after-pill/MY01190/DSECTION=risks
Frequently Asked Questions. Plan B One-Step. http://planbonestep.com/plan-b-faq.aspx
Emergency Contraception: Morning After Pill. American Pregnancy Association. http://www.americanpregnancy.org/preventingpregnancy/emergencycontraception.html