Many women don’t know the most important things about morning-after pills (e.g., Plan B), which can be disadvantageous for them. These pills enter the body, after all, and everybody should be aware of their impact on health in general and the chances for pregnancy in particular.
Effective Within a Few Days, Too
The makers of emergency contraceptives advise women to take a morning-after pill within 72 hours after unprotected sex. The sooner you take it, they also add, the more effective it will be.
But studies have shown that morning-after pills are also effective when you take it from days one to four, even on day five depending on where you are on your menstrual cycle. You should never wait for emergency contraceptive obviously but if you think you have taken it too late, you can call your pharmacist or doctor about it. You may catch up to your cycle, so to speak.
Different from the Abortion Pill
Many women also don’t want to take Plan B, among other emergency contraceptives, because they equate it with the abortion pill (Mifeprex). Such fears are unfounded because Plan B isn’t physiologically capable of terminating an early pregnancy, unlike Mifeprex. Even if you take a dozen Plan B pills at once – but we don’t recommend it due to its side effects – you will not have an abortion.
This is because the morning-after pill delays ovulation, the process wherein the ovary releases an egg for potential fertilization by a sperm, and prevents implantation of a fertilized egg in the uterine wall. There are no ingredients in it that can terminate an existing pregnancy so it isn’t the same as the abortion pill.
Side Effects May or May Not Happen
Every woman responds differently to emergency contraceptive in terms of their experience with its side effects. You may or may not feel these side effects, such as nausea, fatigue, headache, cramps, dizziness, and breast soreness, perhaps with some spotting. You may even get lucky and just feel fine!
But your period can become erratic afterwards. You should take note of your period’s arrival – it may come within a week of its normal schedule or it may also come earlier or later than normal. But when your period is more than a week late, you should take a pregnancy test, just in case.
Most important, keep in mind that the morning-after pill is neither a preventive measure nor a medication against sexually-transmitted diseases. You have to be careful about choosing your partners and protecting yourself, such as asking them to use condoms, among other things.