What is the Morning After Pill? Is it for me?

 In Uncategorized

From Debby, our Nurse Manager


  • If you’ve had unprotected sex, you’ve got questions…Did he have an STD? Could I be pregnant? What if…?


  • The morning after pill is emergency contraception. It is a drug to be taken as soon as possible within the first 72 hours (no more than 3 days) after unprotected sex to prevent pregnancy. It’s not ideal but many women ask about it.


  • The morning after pill contains very high levels of progesterone (levonorgestrel) which is found in many kinds of oral birth control pills.


  • The morning after pill may also be known as it’s brand name, Plan B One Step or EllaOne.


Stuff You Should Know:

  • The morning after pill does not prevent any type of STD.


  • It is highly recommended that women who have been sexually active take a pregnancy test before taking the morning after pill.  (This sounds backwards, right? But think about it…if you accidentally became pregnant last week, taking the morning after pill now could have serious side effects and risks for you.)


  • The morning after pill is not recommended for routine or repeated use.


  • Taking the morning after pill will interrupt or alter your normal menstral cycle.


  • Plan B One Step indicates that there are some side effects which include, nausea, vomiting, irregular periods, cramping and pain, fatigue, headache, dizziness, and breast tenderness.


Important Note.  You should expect some cramping and pain after taking this medication. But these symptoms could mask other potential issues such as ectopic pregnancy which can be life threatening if not treated. The morning after pill will not end an ectopic pregnancy. Women with cramping and pain should be evaluated for ectopic pregnancy.


Bottom Line:

You should stop by today, get tested for pregnancy and STD and put your mind at ease.


*Plan B One Step is a registered trademark of Women’s Capital Corporation. EllaOne is a registered trademark of Afaxys Pharmaceuticals


Here’s the skinny from Ella’s website


The most common adverse reactions (≥5%) in the clinical trials were headache (18%), abdominal pain (12%), nausea (12%), dysmenorrhea (9%), fatigue (6%), and dizziness (5%). ella is contraindicated in women with a known or suspected pregnancy and should not replace a regular method of contraception. Repeated use of ella within the same menstrual cycle is not recommended. ella is not indicated for termination of an existing pregnancy. Women who become pregnant or complain of lower abdominal pain after taking ella should be evaluated for ectopic pregnancy. ella may alter the next expected menses. If menses is delayed beyond 1 week, pregnancy should be ruled out. A rapid return of fertility is likely following treatment with ella; therefore, routine contraception should be continued or initiated as soon as possible to ensure ongoing prevention of pregnancy. Please note that due to the high binding affinity of ella to the progesterone receptor, it may reduce the contraceptive action of regular hormonal contraceptive methods. Therefore, after use of ella, a reliable barrier method of contraception should be used with subsequent acts of intercourse that occur within the same menstrual cycle of the emergency contraceptive use. ella does not protect against sexually transmitted diseases or HIV.


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