What You Need to Know About the Morning-After Pill

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Regardless of personal opinion about the topic, it’s important to be educated about our decisions and the options available to us should emergencies arise. Sometimes life happens (whether it’s a broken condom, forgetting to practice FAM, missing a dose on hormonal birth control, etc), and Emergency Contraception may be necessary if pregnancy is not the desired outcome.

Most Emergency Contraception Pills (also commonly known as “the morning-after pill”, “plan B”, or “oh f*ck, what did we do”) contains 1.5 milligrams of Levonorgestrel, the same progestin commonly found (in lesser quantities) in your standard hormonal birth control pills.

Emergency Contraception Brands Include:
– Plan B One-Step
– Next Choice One Dose
– My Action
– My Way
– AfterPill
– Ella (requires RX)
and others

Potential Side Effects of Emergency Contraception Pills:
– Nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain
– Headache, dizziness
– Changes to the menstrual cycle (including irregular cycles for quite a few months)

How Does Emergency Contraception Work?
(Depends on where you are in your cycle)
– Prevent/delay ovulation
– Interfere w fertilization of the egg
– Prevent egg from implanting in the uterus lining

EC Pills essentially contain a mega-dose of synthetic hormone, so it spikes hormone levels so a drug-induced bleed occurs. User mileage may vary – But the general consensus is that monthly cycle regularity may be temperamental for a few months as hormones attempt to rebalance and stabilize. That being said, some people experience zero issues.

Typically, guidelines suggest that you can take most morning-after pills up to 5 days after unprotected sex, but they say the longer we wait, the less effective it may be. Historically, EC pills work better if you take them within 1-3 days of the incident. If further questions, reach out to the pharmacist working and don’t be afraid to reach out to your doctor.

We would highly suggest taking a pregnancy test if a withdrawal bleed has not occurred within 3 weeks of taking a “morning-after” pill.

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