Circumstances sometimes arise where you missed a birth control pill or your primary birth control method didn’t work. You may find yourself asking what you should do next, and perhaps you turn to emergency contraceptive methods. Emergency birth control such as the morning-after pill is used to prevent pregnancies after engaging in unprotected sex. But how does the process work? Is it ok to have unprotected sex after taking the morning after pill?
If you have taken the morning after pill and are concerned about a possible pregnancy, Avenue Women’s Center is here to help. Our free medical-grade pregnancy tests are accurate just ten days after possible conception. We also provide helpful information regarding contraception risks and effectiveness during a confidential consultation appointment. If you live in the Chicagoland area, contact us right away!
Morning-After Pill Effectiveness
Caution should still be used when taking the morning-after pill, as it does not offer lasting protection from pregnancy. It is recommended to avoid engaging in sexual intercourse until you have found another method of contraception. If you have unprotected sex in the days and weeks following your taking of the pill, there is still a risk you can become pregnant.
Emergency contraception is reported to be effective at preventing pregnancy after engaging in unprotected sex, but it is not recommended for routine use. It also does not offer protection against sexually transmitted infections. For it to work, emergency contraception must be taken as soon as possible after unprotected intercourse.
If taking Plan B, follow the instructions carefully and be sure to take it less than 72 hours after intercourse. It is possible that the morning-after pill may delay your period up to one week. If your period is three to four weeks late after taking the pill, then you may want to take a pregnancy test.
Morning-After Pill Side-Effects
As with any form of medication, there is always the risk of side effects, and the morning-after pill is no exception. You may experience nausea, and if you vomit within two hours after taking the pill, please consult a medical professional. Other potential risks include dizziness, heavier menstrual bleeding, and abdominal cramps. If you experience any bleeding or spotting that lasts longer than a week and if you have developed abdominal pain three to five weeks after taking the pill, contact your doctor. If you have any concerns or questions about emergency contraception, do not hesitate to speak with a medical professional.
If you are concerned about a possible pregnancy following the morning after pill, let Avenue Women’s Center be your next step. Our services, including medical-grade pregnancy tests, and options consultations, are available at no cost to you. Receive accurate results and compassionate care at one of our six DuPage County locations. Call, chat, email, or text today!
- Mayo Clinic. (2018, June). Morning-after pill. Retrieved from https://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/morning-after-pill/about/pac-20394730.
- plan B®. Paladin Labs Inc. (2018) WHAT TO EXPECT. Retrieved from http://planb.ca/what-to-expect.html.
- The Office on Women’s Health. (2018, October). Emergency contraception. Retrieved from https://www.womenshealth.gov/a-z-topics/emergency-contraception.
Reviewed by Patricia Kuenzi, APN-CNP, MSN, ANP, PNP.
The information provided here is general in nature. It is not a substitute for a consultation with a medical professional. Before any medical procedure, it is imperative that you discuss your personal medical history, risks, and concerns with your doctor. If you have questions during or after a procedure, your doctor should be immediately contacted. Avenue Women’s Center is not an emergency center. If you are experiencing severe symptoms, such as bleeding and/or pain, seek immediate medical attention. Contact your physician, go to an emergency room, or call 911.