What You Need To Know Before Taking The Morning-After Pill

If you’re getting it on with your partner and the condom breaks, or if you skipped a day of birth control, what’s the next best solution to prevent pregnancy?

Most women would go to the doctor or a pharmacy and purchase emergency contraception, otherwise known as Plan B. It’s also known as the ‘morning-after’ pill that prevents unplanned pregnancy. The most common brand of over-the-counter emergency contraception is Plan B One-Step.

Meanwhile, other emergency contraceptives like a copper IUD that can be inserted up to five days from the incident of sexual intercourse. This needs to be prescribed by the doctor. If you’re comfortable going over-the-counter, here’s what you need to know about Plan B.

What’s the morning-after pill made of?

The morning-after pill is made of a concentrated dose of a synthetic hormone called progestin, that’s also found in birth control pills. Progestin prevents or delays our bodies from ovulating so any sperm trying to swim to the egg can’t fertilize it. Hence, it is NOT an abortion pill, it simply prevents pregnancy from happening.

How effective is Plan B?

It’s effective up to 72 hours after intercourse, but there’s another pill marketed under the name EllaOne, and it’s effective up to 5 days after intercourse. However, if the egg has been fertilized, then the pill will not prevent the pregnancy. So it’s best to look for these pills and take them ASAP. It’s effectiveness decreases over time. One in 100 women experience pregnancy even after taking Plan B, and this is probably because the egg has already been fertilized before they consumed the pill.

What are the side effects of Plan B

Like with any medication, Plan B comes with its side effects. Some women experience nausea, cramps, breast tenderness, bloating, fatigue and headaches. If you’re lucky, you won’t experience any of these side effects. If you’re worried that these could be the symptoms of pregnancy (they are pretty similar), it’s actually the elevated levels of progesterone in the pill that is giving you all these side effects.

Can you take too much of the pill?

The answer is no. You can never take too much of emergency contraceptives. You can safely take one pill after every time you have unprotected sex, but just be wary of the side effects. Basically, you’re taking lots of birth control pills at once. You probably won’t feel great (unless it’s because yay, you’re not pregnant) but it won’t have a negative impact on your overall health and fertility.