The morning after pill is a form of emergency contraception that helps to prevent pregnancy. It’s designed to be used after having unprotected sex or when your birth control method didn’t work. Learn the truth about some of the myths surrounding the morning after pill so you can make an informed decision if you need it.
You Need a Prescription to Buy the Morning After Pill
There’s no prescription required to get one type of morning after pill. Plan B One-Step, and generic versions of it (such as MyWay), are sold over-the-counter at drugstores, and you don’t have to show an ID or ask a pharmacist to dispense it. You should be able to find it on the shelf near other sex and intimacy products, such as lubes and condoms, though in some cases it might be behind the pharmacist’s counter. You can also order Plan B online from Amazon and Target. Even though you don’t need a prescription for Plan B, if you have insurance then your plan may cover the cost of the medication if you get it prescribed by a medical provider and filled through a pharmacist, saving you money.
However, another type of morning after pill, Ella, does require a prescription. Nurx™ can help you select the best type of emergency contraception for your needs, and can prescribe Ella and deliver it to your door (if you have time for that) or call the prescription in to a pharmacy near you.
You Can’t Buy the Morning After Pill if You’re Underage
You don’t have to be 18 to get emergency contraception. Plan B One-Step and its generic versions are available to people of all ages.
In addition to the lack of age restrictions, remember that there are no gender restrictions. Men can buy the morning after pill, too!
The Morning After Pill Has Serious Side Effects
Side effects for the morning after pill are typically mild and only last for a day or two. These minor side effects may include headache, nausea, breast tenderness, mild abdominal pain, fatigue, and dizziness.
In addition, some women experience a slight change in their next menstrual period after using emergency contraception. These changes may include your period coming earlier or later than usual, a heavier or lighter period than usual, more or less menstrual pain than usual, and light bleeding in between periods.
If your period is more than a week late after taking the morning after pill, you should take a pregnancy test. According to studies, if emergency contraception doesn’t work and you do become pregnant, it will have no long-term effects on the pregnancy or the baby.
You Have to Take the Morning After Pill Right Away for It to Work
While it’s true that it’s best to take the morning after pill as soon as possible, you actually have up to 72 hours after unprotected sex to use Plan B One-Step (or a generic version). When taking Ella, you have an even larger window of up to five days after unprotected sex to use emergency contraception.
The Morning After Pill Can Stop a Pregnancy
The morning after pill delays or prevents the release of an egg from the ovary (ovulation) in order to reduce the risk of pregnancy. In some cases, it may be able to prevent sperm from fertilizing an egg when ovulation has already taken place.
Emergency contraception pills are not the same thing as the abortion pill. They are incapable of stopping or harming a pregnancy. If a fertilized egg has already implanted in the uterus, the morning after pill will not be effective.
You Can’t Use the Morning After Pill More Than Once
You can take the morning after pill on multiple occasions. Both types of medication are safe when used for emergency purposes and are not linked to any serious side effects. In addition, the morning after pill does not affect fertility, so it won’t harm your ability to become pregnant in the future.
However, keep in mind that the morning after pill is not recommended for and has not been tested for regular birth control use. Other types of FDA-approved birth control, such as birth control pills like Tri-Sprintec or vaginal rings like NuvaRing, are much more effective at preventing pregnancy and typically cost less.
You Can Safely Have Unprotected Sex After Taking the Morning After Pill
The morning after pill only protects against unprotected sex that has already occurred. You are still at risk when you have unprotected sex in the days and weeks after taking it.
In addition, keep in mind that emergency contraception does not protect against sexually transmitted infections (STIs), so you still need to use a condom if you’re unsure of your partner’s status.
Use these facts about the morning after pill to make the right choices for your sexual health. If you request the morning after pill through Nurx™ the medical team will be available to answer any questions about emergency contraceptives.
This blog provides information about telemedicine, health and related subjects. The blog content and any linked materials herein are not intended to be, and should not be construed as a substitute for, medical or healthcare advice, diagnosis or treatment. Any reader or person with a medical concern should consult with an appropriately-licensed physician or other healthcare provider. This blog is provided purely for informational purposes. The views expressed herein are not sponsored by and do not represent the opinions of Nurx™.