Emergency Contraception FAQ
What are the side effects? Is it safe?
Emergency contraception is safe. Most people don't have any side effects from the pills. But you may have mild ones, like nausea, mild stomach pain, and headache. If you have severe nausea, your doctor may be able to give you medicine that helps. You may also have spotting, and your next period may come a few days earlier or later.
What if I throw up after taking the medication? Am I still protected?
Emergency contraception pills can sometimes cause vomiting. As long as you throw up more than two hours after you took it, you should be fine. The medicine should be in your system. If you throw up within two hours of taking it, call your doctor or pharmacist. You may need to take a drug to settle your stomach and then take a second dose of the emergency contraception.
What if I'm already pregnant and take emergency contraception?
If you think you're already pregnant, don't take emergency contraception. The hormones in Plan B One-Step or generic levonorgestrel won't work at that point. You should not take Ella if you think you might be pregnant. It may not be safe.
Will taking more than one type of emergency contraception improve my odds?
No. One kind could block the effect of the other. Stick to one type and follow the directions.
How long does an emergency contraception pill last? Can I have sex again and still be protected?
Be careful. The pills may just delay ovulation, not stop it. If you have sex a second time, your risks of getting pregnant are higher. Be safe and use other protection instead.
Can I use emergency contraception pills more than once in a month?
You should use Ella only once in your cycle. You can use Plan B One-Step and generic levonorgestrel more than once. But if you're relying on it often, you should use regular birth control instead.
Is there a way I can use regular birth control pills as emergency contraception?
At a higher dose, regular birth control pills -- with progesterone and estrogen -- can work as emergency contraception. But don’t do this without talking to your doctor.
After taking an emergency contraceptive pill, when should I start using regular birth control again?
If you use condoms, a diaphragm, or a similar type of birth control, start using it right away. If you take birth control pills or use the patch or a vaginal ring -- but missed some doses -- start using them the next day. Buy you'll need to use a backup, like condoms, for at least a week
Will emergency contraception affect my fertility in the future?
No. Taking emergency contraception does not affect your ability to have a baby later. If you got an IUD for emergency contraception, a doctor will need to remove it before you can get pregnant.