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Is the Morning-After Pill Safe?

Yes, the morning-after pill is a safe and effective emergency contraceptive to take if you’ve had unprotected sex or your birth control method failed. There are two types of FDA-approved morning-after pills: Ella and Plan B.

How Does the Morning-After Pill Work?

Both types of pills prevent or delay the ovary from releasing an egg during ovulation. They are most effective if you take them as soon as possible after having unprotected sex. You can take Plan B within three days of having sex and Ella within five days.

Possible Side Effects

Some women do experience side effects after taking the morning-after pill, but these are typically mild and uncommon. They might include:

  • Spotting or irregular bleeding
  • Abdominal pain
  • Breast pain
  • Feeling tired
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea

Additionally, your next period after taking the morning-after pill might be a few days early or late or heavier or lighter than usual. Don’t worry — your period should return to normal the following month. If a week goes by and you still haven’t gotten your period, however, take a pregnancy test to make sure the pill worked.

Morning-After Pills and STIs

It’s important to know that the morning-after pill does not prevent you from getting a sexually transmitted infection (STI). The best way to reduce your chances of getting an STI is to always use condoms during sex. If you don’t use a condom or if the condom breaks, a morning-after pill is only going to reduce your chances of getting pregnant. You’ll want to talk to your Nurx™ medical provider if you think you were also exposed to an STI.

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