nullWhat is the ‘morning after pill’ (emergency contraceptive pill) and how does it work?
What is the ‘morning after pill’ (emergency contraceptive pill) and how does it work?
What is the ‘morning after pill’ (emergency contraception) and how does it work?
A better name for the ‘morning after pill’ is the emergency contraceptive pill. Calling it the 'morning after pill' can be confusing as some people think that it can ONLY be taken the morning after sexual intercourse.
Emergency contraceptive pills are used to reduce the risk of pregnancy after unprotected sex. They can be taken up to five days (120 hours) after unprotected sex. The sooner they are taken the more effective they are.
There are two types of emergency contraceptive pills. They both work by preventing or delaying the release of an egg from the ovaries. They do not cause an abortion or harm a developing pregnancy.
Emergency contraception pills are available over the counter at most pharmacies. They do not need a prescription. The pharmacist may ask some questions which may seem personal, but they are only asking to check on medical history and the risk of pregnancy. This will help them choose the most appropriate type of emergency pill.
It is recommended to do a home pregnancy test 3-4 weeks after taking an emergency contraceptive pill to make sure it has been effective. See a doctor if the test is positive.
If the next period is more than a week late or different in any way, it is essential to do a home pregnancy test.
Emergency contraception does not protect against sexually transmissible infections (STIs). If someone has had unprotected sex they may want to get an STI test.