You’ve probably heard about the morning –after pill. Some call it “emergency contraception.” Now you need more information-and soon, because one of your “what ifs”…pregnancy…is a real possibility.
What is the morning after pill?
- It’s a drug intended to be taken as soon as possible, within the first 72 hours after unprotected sex to prevent pregnancy.
- It contains a high dose of progesterone (levonorgestrel), which is found in many kinds of birth control pills.
- At the dosage found in the morning-after pill, this drug may work on rare occasions to prevent an
embryo from implanting in the uterus.
- It is often referred to by the brand name—Plan B.
How does it work?
- Prevents the egg from being released from the ovary.
- Prevents the sperm from fertilizing the egg.
- Prevents the newly conceived baby from attaching itself onto the lining of the uterus.
What are the side effects?
- Nausea and vomitting
- Irregular and unpredictable menstrual periods
- Cramping and abdominal pain—which might also be the sign of an ectopic pregnancy
- Breast Tenderness
Can Anyone Take Emergency Contraception?
Women who smoke cigarettes and those who have experienced any of the following conditions are advised NOT to take emergency contraception:
- Blood clots in the legs or lungs
- Liver disease
- Cancer of the breast or reproductive organs
- Heart disease
- Kidney disease
- Severe migraine headaches
- Heart attack
- High blood pressure