What is the emergency contraception (morning after) pill?

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Emergency contraception (EC) involves taking 1 or 2 pills within 5 days of unprotected intercourse. The hormones in two types of EC are the same hormones commonly found in birth control pills. (The newest EC pill, ulipristal, is nonhormonal.) The difference between emergency contraception and standard oral contraceptives is in the dosage and timing.

The sooner the pills are taken, the more effective (hence, "the morning after" pill); but it is still highly effective as long as it is taken within 5 days of unprotected intercourse. Side effects are minimal and can include nausea, vomiting and light bleeding. If pregnancy does occur, or if you are already pregnant, there is no risk to the developing fetus.

Continue Learning about Emergency Contraception

Emergency Contraception

Emergency Contraception

Emergency contraception is used to help keep a woman from getting pregnant after she has unprotected sex or if the birth control method failed. The medication is a concentrated dose of progesterone that prevents the egg from leavi...

ng the ovary, meeting with sperm or attaching to the uterus, depending on your cycle stage. If you are already pregnant, the emergency contraception pill will not work.
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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.