If you have been sexually active, there is a possibility of pregnancy. You worry about that possibility and, instead of waiting to see what happens, you take the morning-after pill. What is the morning-after pill and how does it work?
According to Mayo Clinic, morning-after pills are a form of emergency contraception intended to prevent pregnancy in cases of unprotected sex, failed birth control, or nonconsensual sex (sexual assault/rape). The morning-after pill has different names depending on the method used and some forms may only be available by prescription.
HOW DOES IT WORK?
- Delaying/suppressing ovulation (the release of an egg from the ovaries)
- Thickening the cervical mucus (preventing the chance of sperm reaching an egg)
- Changing the lining of the uterus (preventing an already fertilized egg from implanting)
Morning-after pills are 75-89% effective in preventing pregnancy, depending on the medication and if it was taken in the prescribed time frame.
ARE THERE ANY RISKS?
According to Mayo Clinic, side effects of the morning-after pill can include:
- Nausea or vomiting
- Breast tenderness
- Bleeding between menstrual periods or heavier menstrual bleeding
- Lower abdominal pain or cramps
For most women, any side effects will be mild. If severe symptoms occur or any symptoms last longer than a few days, medical attention is needed.
WHAT SHOULD YOU DO IF YOU’RE NOT SURE THE MORNING-AFTER PILL WORKED?
If you are sexually active, there is a possibility of pregnancy, and the morning-after pill is not always an effective method of pregnancy prevention.
Give yourself peace of mind and verify whether or not you are pregnant with a lab-quality pregnancy test and consult at Alpha Center. Our trained staff will answer any questions you might have about emergency contraception and provide information to help you navigate your next steps. Schedule your free appointment today.
Admin, APA. “Emergency Contraception: Morning after Pill.” American Pregnancy Association, 5 July 2022, https://americanpregnancy.org/unplanned-pregnancy/birth-control-pills-patches-and-devices/emergency-contraception/.
“Morning-after Pill.” Mayo Clinic, Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, 3 June 2022, https://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/morning-after-pill/about/pac-20394730#:~:text=Keep%20in%20mind%20that%20the,and%20has%20begun%20to%20develop.
“Morning-after Pill: Emergency Contraception & Side Effects.” Cleveland Clinic, https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/treatments/23386-morning-after-pill.