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General Health: What Does The Morning After Pill Do?

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what does the morning after pill do

The morning after pill can be best defined as one of the easy forms in birth control that can be utilized by women post unprotected sex. Generally, two doses of these hormone pills are ingested in one day. But the time should be twelve hours apart (within 72 hours of unprotected sex or failure in contraceptives). These pills are best used for preventing pregnancy. They are better known as Emergency Birth Control pill or EBC. In medical terms, these pills release a vast amount of progestin and estrogen and the most preferred pills are Preven and progestin, preventing the happening of conception.

These pills can be used, with relation to the methods mentioned above:

  • You forgot to take the pills of birth control, patch, ring, or other birth control method
  • Your partner has not pulled out in time, or, you were forced to have unprotected vaginal sex.what does the morning after pill do

In this article on what does the morning after pill do information will be given on its effectiveness, side effects and the main reason for ingestion. A survey has showed that many women are making use of the pill for their own reasons. The use of emergency birth control pills has increased from 4.2 percent in 2002 to 11 percent in 2006 based on a survey conducted in United States.

How Does the Morning-After Pill (Emergency Contraception) Work?

It is a common notion that pregnancy occurs exactly after sex. Thus, it is possible to prevent pregnancy even after the intercourse. The duration is six days for the sperm and egg to meet after sexual intercourse. The morning day pill prevents a woman’s ovary from releasing an egg for a longer duration of time than the normal. The pill thickens the outer lining of mucus in the woman’s womb so that sperm cannot reach the egg. In the course of time, the egg cannot get attached to the womb and it does not develop. If the egg does not join the sperm, there will be no pregnancy.

Another popular notion is the morning-after pill causes abortion – Untrue. The article mentioned pill is not the abortion-causing one, but, which causes birth control. At the same time, this pill will not assist in preventing an established pregnancy nor slow down implantation or avert fertilization. It does not offer any protection against sexually transmitted diseases (STIs) nor does it prevent pregnancy for any unprotected one night stands, if you have one, after consuming the pills.

How Long Does The Morning After Pill Work?

The effectiveness of some pill will be for a duration of three days, while some pills can do the job even after the fourth day. The duration depends on the pill and the individual body type and medical history.

If the pill is ingested before a day of unprotected sex, the pill can prevent nearly 95 percent of expected pregnancy. The percentage decreases to 85 if the pill is taken after three days of unprotected sex. The total duration, the pill is effective, is ninety-six hours, and as you can make out, the effectiveness decreases with time.

The most common Levonorgestrel pills, include the brands Next Choice One Dose and Plan B One-Step – they are found to be effective in the percentage of 89 percent if taken within three days after unguarded sex. Their effectiveness decreases with time after the third day. But these pills have been found to be ineffective when consumed by women whose body mass index or BMI is above 25.

The pill, Ella is found to be eighty-five percent effective if consumed within five days. The same effectiveness is maintained for the entire duration of time.

How long does a morning after pill stay in my system?

According to medical reports, the duration can be six days.

To be safe, it is essential to take another pill after the prescribed interval. The main effect is on the cycle of menses that can be altered.

If you are in a live-in relationship or married, and do not want to have children currently, it is advisable to take into account a superior/healthier contraceptive method. Your partner should buy superior quality condoms and make use of them in the right way. A little bit of extra care can be exercised during sexual intercourse to prevent this rare breakage of contraceptives. The after morning pill is expensive in the range of $30 to $65.

Morning After Pill Side Effects

As per medical science reports, no complications have been reported so far among millions of women who are using the morning-after pill. Although side effects are common, they are minor and symptoms can stop after a day or maximum, two days. The most common causes of side effects are:

  • Headaches, dizziness and breast tenderness
  • A heavier or lighter period, an earlier or later period than normal
  • Vomiting or nausea
  • Abdominal pain and vaginal bleedings

If you are vomiting before two hours of consuming the pill, you may have to take it again as the effectiveness might be lost. If the pill has successfully prevented pregnancy, the periods will occur at the normal time (in some women, it might come early or a little late).


The emergency contraceptive pills should be avoided if

  • You have the assumption you are pregnant
  • You had unprotected sex before five days
  • Your period has become late than usual

Before purchasing the morning after pill, kindly inform the physician or pharmacist about your medical history. You would not be prescribed or given the pill if you are suffering from diabetes, high blood pressure and have a history of heart diseases, severe liver disease, a paralytic stroke, breast cancer, and also the information on medications for any pre-existing diseases.