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Is the Morning After Pill Safe

It’s a scary moment: the condom breaks, and you don’t want to be pregnant. Or maybe you’ve just survived a rape and are thinking about the future. Perhaps you got swept up in the heat of the moment and forgot to use protection. If you want to avoid an unwanted pregnancy and a trip to your local abortion clinic, the morning after pill is a safe option. It’s available over the counter across the country, which means you can get it safely and discreetly without a prescription.

How Does the Morning After Pill Work?

Morning After PillThe morning after pill is very similar to hormonal birth control. It delivers a large dose of hormones that prevents you from ovulating. This means the sperm cannot fertilize an egg. If you have already ovulated or sperm has already fertilized an egg, the pill can also prevent implantation. Implantation, which is the medical beginning of pregnancy, happens when a fertilized egg embeds in the lining of the uterus.

Is the Morning After Pill Safe?

The morning after pill is very safe. It uses synthetic versions of hormones found in your own body, to suppress ovulation. Even for people who cannot safely take birth control, Plan B is usually safe before you take it only once–not over many months. Most people have no symptoms after taking this drug, but some notice:

  • Nausea
  • Headaches
  • Bleeding
  • Fatigue
  • Bloating
  • Sore breasts

These effects usually go away within a few days.

How Soon Do I Need to Take the Morning After Pill?

The sooner you can take Plan B, the better. This drug works best if you take it within 12 hours of unprotected sex, but you can use it within three or four days following sex. If you use emergency contraception during the recommended 72 hour window, it is about 87 percent effective. Used within 12 hours, it becomes significantly more effective.

Does the Morning After Pill Cause an Abortion?

The morning after pill is not the same thing as the abortion pill. The morning after pill cannot induce an abortion because it can only prevent pregnancy–not end it.

Does the Morning After Pill Cause Miscarriages?

Just as the morning after pill cannot induce an abortion, it also will not cause a miscarriage. There is no evidence that people who take the morning after pill who become pregnant have a higher rate of pregnancy complications. Using the morning after pill is similar to using birth control pills; people become pregnant while using the latter all the time.

You can get the morning after pill at your local pharmacy. If you’re already pregnant and don’t want to be, learn more about the safety of abortion.

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