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The morning after pill is a form of emergency contraception designed to stop an unwanted pregnancy after an instance of unprotected sex or if your usual contraception has failed as in the case of a missed contraceptive pill or split condom.
The first progestin-only morning after pill became available on the market in the USA in 1999 so you can be comfortable knowing that it has been used by many women safely and effectively over the course of thirty years.
Click Pharmacy offer the two morning after pills which are presently on the market. Both Levonelle and ellaOne can be taken after unprotected sexual intercourse and have a similar result. The difference between them is that Levonelle can only be taken effectively for up to 3 days post intercourse and ellaOne up to 5.
Contraception is most commonly used to prevent unwanted pregnancies. It gives the user control over their body, allowing them to be sexually active without having to worry about falling pregnant. There are many different methods that can be used, giving you the option of finding the right solution for you. While there are various forms of birth control you can take in preparation, you can also feel reassured in knowing that there are products like Levonelle and ellaOne available if you find yourself unprotected. However, it’s important to note that using regular contraception is more reliable at preventing pregnancy than relying on emergency forms.
It is perfectly safe to take the morning after pill. There have been no serious side effects reported nor is the emergency contraception designed to cause an abortion - it will simply help to prevent a pregnancy from occurring in the first place when taken within the time given frame. It’s important to note that if taken when pregnant the high levels of hormones in the pills can potentially affect the development of the foetus, so if you think you could be pregnant then do a test or visit your GP first before purchasing the pill.
The morning after pills have only been medically trialled and assessed in the manner in which they were designed to be taken which is only very rarely and in an emergency. As such, there is little known about longterm implications upon your health if taken any more regularly than this. It has though been used for over thirty years by millions of women and there have been no reports of serious issues from its use over this time.
Each method works in a different way, however, they both act to prevent pregnancy through affecting the hormone known as progesterone.
Alongside this, the morning after pill is designed to thicken the mucus at the entrance to the womb which makes it more difficult for the sperm to get through to fertilise the egg which would cause you to get pregnant.
It is important to bear in mind that neither Levonelle nor ellaOne are intended to be used as a regular form of contraception. Even though it is good to know that they are available for you should you need them, they are not as effective as using a regular form of contraception such as the coil, the pill or condoms. As well as this, the morning after pill is more expensive than these other forms of contraception which you can usually get from on the NHS.
Both Levonelle and ellaOne can cause side effects which can include:
You may also get potential abdominal issues such as vomiting and diarrhoea and if this occurs you should take a second dose to ensure the pill can work effectively.
While there are no serious side effects associated with using either of these medications as prescribed, they can cause changes to your next period due to the higher dose of hormones being introduced into your system. These shifts can include your period starting earlier or later and being either lighter or heavier than normal though more often than not women experience a normal menstrual cycle after taking the morning after pill.
Though it is not designed to be taken regularly, if used several times throughout the same month for example then the morning after pill can result in an irregular menstrual cycle and changes to your period leaving them unpredictable.
Some pharmacies are part of an NHS scheme which offers the morning after pill to women under 25 though this is subject to eligibility and pharmacist availability. You can get the morning after pill for free by going to your doctor, GUM clinic or walk-in centre but the only issue with this is that the sooner you can take the pill the better your chances are of it working to prevent a pregnancy. As such some women prefer to go directly to a pharmacy and pay for it right rather than waiting for an appointment.
If you would like further information or advice on taking the morning after pill and/or deciding which is best for your situation, you can speak to a pharmacist at your local chemist or contact one of our healthcare specialists here at Click Pharmacy for a private, free and confidential appointment.
No, the morning-after pill doesn’t work if the ovulation has begun. Contraceptives including the morning-after pill are required to be taken as soon as possible after having unprotected sex so that it can delay ovulation on time.
If you vomit within 2 hours after taking the pill, it’s best to take another dose as the pill wouldn’t have absorbed properly. However, make sure to take some medication to treat your nausea too so that you don’t vomit again.
The morning-after pill cannot be completely relied upon to prevent pregnancy, as it does not work as a regular contraceptive.
The morning-after pill does not work if you’re already pregnant, therefore even if you take a pill, it will not harm the fetus
Yes, it’s safe to use the morning-after pill while breastfeeding. You just need to wait for 3-4 hours after taking the pill to breastfeed again.
The morning-after pills are easily available at pharmacies or drug stores near everyone.
Yes, the morning-after pill is available over the counter. You can get it whenever you want, even without a prescription.
It’s best to take the morning-after pill as soon as after having unprotected sex. Do not delay taking the pill for more than 72 hours.
Emergency contraceptives like the morning-after pill are quite effective, they reduce the risk of pregnancy by 75%.
The morning-after pill doesn’t have any side effects which is why it can be used multiple times, whenever needed.
Taking an emergency contraceptive pill in advance does not make any difference in preventing pregnancy.
Yes, it’s safe to take the morning-after pill if you’re breastfeeding. A small percentage of the pill can get mixed with your milk, however, it does not harm the baby.
You don’t necessarily need to take the morning-after pill after childbirth. Having unprotected sex before the baby is three weeks old will not get you pregnant again.
Unless you had some severe complications during your abortion/miscarriage, it’s safe for you to start using oral contraceptives after a week.
Yes, the morning-after pill can mess up your period cycle. Everybody reacts differently to the pills, in some cases, the periods are early while in other cases, they get delayed. However, the period is heavier and more painful than usual due to the emergency contraceptives.
Last reviewed 11 April 2023
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