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What’s the Difference Between the Morning After Pill and the Abortion Pill?

The morning after pill is used after unprotected sex to prevent pregnancy from occurring, while the abortion pill is used to terminate a pregnancy that has already happened. Unfortunately, the two get confused as many people are unaware of how emergency contraception works.

The Morning After Pill

The morning after pill, normally taken within 72 hours of having sex or experiencing a contraceptive failure, helps to prevent a pregnancy from occurring by stopping ovulation so any remaining sperm in the body cannot fertilize an egg. You can get the morning after pill, often called emergency contraception, with or without a prescription at a drugstore or pharmacy. There is no age limit or identification required to obtain it. If you were to take the morning after pill and have already conceived, it will not terminate the pregnancy. The morning after pill is also commonly offered as a prophylactic treatment when victims of rape are treated at a hospital.

The Abortion Pill

The abortion pill is used as an early and less invasive option to terminate an unwanted or life-threatening pregnancy. It must be used after pregnancy has been confirmed but no longer than 49 days after a woman’s previous menstrual cycle. The abortion pill will consist of two types of medication. The first one will cause the uterine lining to shed so that the fertilized egg will lose its attachment. The second medication causes uterine contractions to expel the fertilized egg from the uterus. To get the abortion pill, you will need to be examined by a doctor, have a confirmed pregnancy test, and must obtain a prescription.

The primary difference between the two is that the morning after pill is used to prevent ovulation, and the abortion pill is not effective until after successful implantation occurs, resulting in a pregnancy.

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