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What is it?
Emergency contraception, commonly called the morning-after pill or day after pill, is a high dosage of synthetic hormone. The way emergency contraception works varies based on when it is used within your cycle. Its use can end a pregnancy prior to or shortly after implantation. Emergency contraception is not always effective in preventing a pregnancy.
The morning-after pill is not a form of regular birth control, and the manufacturers advise that it is not intended to be taken on a regular basis. It does not offer lasting protection for any subsequent sexual encounters.
What is the purpose?
Women most commonly seek emergency contraceptives when they fear pregnancy, such as when:
How does it work?
Hormonal emergency contraception works to thin the lining of the uterus and sometimes prevent ovulation. During the time of your cycle when you can conceive, it often fails to act as a contraceptive & acts instead as an abortifacient.
High doses of synthetic hormones may carry health risks. If you have any existing health conditions, be sure to discuss these with your doctor before you buy or take emergency contraception. Side effects of hormonal emergency contraception, which typically last a few days, can include headache, nausea/vomiting, dizziness, fatigue, breast tenderness, changes in menstrual bleeding, and abdominal pain.
If you have noticed any unexpected side effects, such as heavy bleeding, seek medical attention right away.
If you weigh more than 155 lbs, certain types of emergency contraception may not lower your chances of getting pregnant.
What about a copper IUD?
A Copper IUD (ParaGard T 380A) is a T-shaped intrauterine device also used as emergency contraception. When inserted after ovulation, they are used to prevent implantation of the developing embryo.
Are you considering emergency contraception and need help in your decision?
Contact (center) today to talk to someone about your concerns.
Does emergency contraception protect against infections and diseases?
Emergecy contraception do not protect against HIV infection (AIDS) and other sexually transmitted diseases.
Is emergency contraception the same as the abortion pill?
These products are not the same as RU-486, which is the abortion pill.
What if I’ve already used emergency contraception?
If you’ve already taken emergency contraception, do not be alarmed if your period is late or not a normal period for you. Because the lining of the uterus has been temporarily thinned by this drug, sometimes a period is missed or is different. Also, some women may have spotting or bleeding before their next period. Contact us today if you need a free pregnancy test.
What should I do next?
After using emergency contraception there is still a chance that a pregnancy could occur. If you have not had a period within three weeks of using emergency contraception, contact us. We are here to help you regardless of your situation.
Your choices are entirely in your control. We’re glad you started here. Call or chat with us now if you’d like to talk more!
Whenever you need us, we can help.
Emergency contraception and the morning after pill. Drugs.com web site: https://www.drugs.com/article/emergency-contraceptive-pill.html. Updated April 12, 2020. Accessed December 21, 2021.
Ulipristal (Ella) for Emergency Contraception. American family physician web site: https://www.aafp.org/afp/2012/0815/p365.html. Published August 15, 2012. Retrieved December 21, 2021.
Morning-after pill. Mayo clinic web site: https://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/morning-after-pill/about/pac-20394730. Updated June 19, 2020. Retrieved December 21, 2021.
ParaGard. Drugs.com website: https://www.drugs.com/pro/paragard.html. Updated August 23, 2021. Retrieved December 21, 2021.
Goldstuck ND, Wildemeersch D. Practical Advice for Emergency IUD Contraception in Young Women. Obstet Gynecol Int. 2015;2015:986439. doi:10.1155/2015/986439
Morning-after pill. Mayo clinic web site: https://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/morning-after-pill/about/pac-20394730. Published December 31, 2019. Retrieved February 1, 2020.
Gainer E, Kenfack B, Mboudou E, Doh AS, Bouyer J. Menstrual bleeding patterns following levonorgestrel emergency contraception. Contraception. 2006;74(2):118–124. doi:10.1016/j.contraception.2006.02.009
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ServicesPregnancy TestingParenting ClassesMaterial Aid