Skip to content
My WebMD Sign In, Sign Up

Women's Health

Font Size

Emergency Contraception - Topic Overview

Does it cause side effects?

Emergency contraception may cause some side effects.

  • Emergency contraception may cause spotting or mild symptoms like those of birth control pills. It usually doesn't cause nausea.
  • Birth control pills can cause nausea or vomiting. In some women, they can also cause sore breasts, fatigue, headache, belly pain, or dizziness.
  • An IUD may cause cramping and bleeding during the first few days after insertion.

Call your doctor if you have a headache, dizziness, or belly pain that is severe or that lasts longer than 1 week.

If you are already pregnant, most pills won't harm the fetus. But some pills, such as ulipristal, may cause problems with the pregnancy. More research is needed to know for sure. An IUD could cause problems with the pregnancy.

What else should you think about?

  • Emergency contraception pills won't protect you for the rest of your cycle. Use your regular method of birth control, or use condoms.
  • Unless you get an IUD, emergency contraception does not take the place of regular birth control. Find a good method of birth control you can use every time you have sex.
  • Emergency contraception does not prevent sexually transmitted infections (STIs). If you are worried you might have been exposed to an STI, talk to your doctor.
  • Accidents can happen. It is a good idea to keep a set of the pills on hand in case you ever need it.
1|2|3
1|2|3

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: May 22, 2013
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
Next Article:

Today on WebMD

woman looking in mirror
Article
Woman resting on fitness ball
Evaluator
 
woman collapsed over laundry
Quiz
Public restroom door sign
Slideshow
 
Couple with troubles
Article
Bone density illustration
VIDEO
 
Young woman being vaccinated
Slideshow
woman holding hand to ear
Slideshow
 
Blood pressure check
Slideshow
mother and daughter talking
Evaluator
 
intimate couple
Article
puppy eating
Slideshow