The Morning-after Pill & Other Emergency Contraceptives

Emergency contraceptives, which are a form of birth control, are referred to by many names including the morning-after pill, “the pill”, Levonogestrel pill, Plan B One-Step®, Next Choice® and Ella®. The purpose for the morning-after pill is to prevent pregnancy after unprotected sex, or after the birth control method has failed.

According to Mayo Clinic, morning-after pills contain either levonorgestrel (Plan B One-Step®) or ulipristal acetate (Ella®). [1]

How it Works
The morning-after pill works one of three ways, depending on when it is taken after unprotected sex: [2]

  1. Delayed ovulation (normal menstrual cycle is altered)
  2. Inhibited ovulation (the egg will not be released from the ovary)
  3. Inhibit implantation of the newly formed baby (irritating the lining of the uterus -endometrium)

Remember that fertilization, the moment when an individual child with it’s own DNA is formed, takes place in the fallopian tube. The newly-formed baby then travels down the fallopian tube to the uterus, where he or she attaches to the womb lining to receive nourishment and continue growing and developing. This process, the baby traveling from the fallopian tube to the womb, can take 5-7 days. During that time, the morning after pill could prevent the baby from attaching to the uterus lining, thus ending the baby’s life due to a lack of nourishment.

Side Effects [3]

  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Dizziness
  • Fatigue
  • Headache
  • Diarrhea
  • Breast tenderness
  • Bleeding between periods or heavier menstrual bleeding
  • Stop of menstrual bleeding
  • Lower abdominal pain or cramps

Risks
There are scientifically-proven risks of levonorgestrel, [4] the active ingredient in Plan B®, including:

  • Significant weight gain (on average 15 pounds)
  • Depression
  • Ovarian cyst enlargement
  • Gall bladder disease
  • High blood pressure
  • Respiratory disorders
  • Increased risk of ectopic pregnancy
  • Death

Diabetic women should be especially cautious about Plan B, because 1.85  million  women of reproductive age (18-44) have diabetes according to the CDC (Center for Disease Control), and approximately 500,000 do not know that they have the disease. [5]

Although birth control pills are widely consumed and are available without a prescription, they have more dangers, risks and side effects than most realize. [6]

Effectiveness
How effective the morning-after pill is depends on when it is taken, your body weight and a couple other factors. Keep in mind other medications can have an interaction with the morning-after pill or other forms of non-emergency birth control. The effectiveness rate of the morning-after pill is 62-95%, depending on which one you take. Morning-after pills are not a sure, foolproof pill. They have risks and side effects.

Morning-after Pill FAQ’s | Ella FAQ’s

Facing an Unplanned Pregnancy?
Blue Ridge Women’s Center has over 30 years of experience addressing the challenges related to unplanned pregnancy. Our consultants can give you the time you need to discuss your situation, explore all your options, and connect with support services throughout the community.

Request your Free Appointment Today

First Name (required)

Last Name (required)

Your Email

Your Phone

Please contact me by: (required)
EmailPhoneEither

I want to schedule an appointment for:

Pregnancy Testing:
First date of last period:

Pregnancy dating by ultrasound (A positive pregnancy test must be confirmed at Blue Ridge Women's Center to schedule an ultrasound. Call 540-362-4357 if you have any questions regarding this.)

Consultation about (check all that apply):PregnancyPregnancy options

The best time for my appointment:
Please select several options, and Blue Ridge Women's Center will contact you with an available time and date.
Monday Morning
Monday Afternoon
Tuesday Morning
Tuesday Afternoon
Tuesday Evening
Wednesday Morning
Wednesday Afternoon
Thursday Morning
Thursday Afternoon
Friday Morning
Friday Afternoon

Questions or additional comments:

[1] Mayo Clinic

[2] Drugs.com

[3] Drugs.com

[4] Population Research Institute

[5] Center for Disease Control (CDC)

[6] Heartbeat International

Please note that any information provided by the Blue Ridge Women’s Center is for reference only and does not constitute professional advice, nor can it replace regular consultation with your physician or other appropriate professionals.