Emergency contraception – also referred to as the morning after pill – is a method of backup birth control to prevent a pregnancy from occurring. It is most commonly used after having unprotected sex. Discover three important facts about emergency contraception you should know before taking it:

1. The morning after pill cannot end a pregnancy.

The morning after pill is not to be used as a way to terminate a pregnancy. Once the egg has implanted itself into the uterine wall, the morning after pill is not effective. The pill is used primarily to cause a delay in the hormone production that causes the egg to be released. By doing so, the egg and sperm will not be in the same place at the same time, therefore no pregnancy can occur.

2. The morning after pill is not meant to be used as primary birth control.

There are a wide variety of birth control options available to women, and they have one thing in common – prevent a pregnancy from occurring. Birth control is meant to be taken daily (pills) or left inside you for a period of time (implant, IUD, hormonal ring). The morning after pill is not the same; it is not mean to be taken daily. It is meant to be used if:

  • You had unprotected sex.
  • You forgot to take your birth control.
  • Your method of birth control failed (i.e. condom broke).
  • You were sexually assaulted.

3. The sooner you take the morning after pill, the more effective it is.

Different companies offer the morning after pill and, depending on the brand, you have roughly 3 – 5 days to take the pill. For example, ellaOne’s morning after pill is effective up to 5 days following unprotected sex and Levonelle offers effectiveness up to 3 days. No matter the brand, the morning after pill is most effective if you take it as soon as possible after having unprotected sex.

The Women’s Clinic of Atlanta Team Can Help

If you want to know more about the morning after pill or have questions about your sexual health, our team can help. We will gladly discuss your options, be a sounding board, and – most importantly – be an objective third party. Don’t hesitate to reach out to our team in Johns Creek (404-937-3334) or Decatur (404-377-6640). We are here for you!