Emergency Contraception

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
  • Fatigue
  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • 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
  • Stroke
  • Kidney disease
  • Severe migraine headaches
  • Heart attack
  • High blood pressure
  • Diabetes